Remote work: Adapting to the ‘new normal’ with an Employer of Record in Africa

remote worker

The rapid shift to remote work is often attributed solely to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, remote work had begun to increase in the years pre-COVID-19, fuelled by an increasing drive toward wellbeing, balance of work and life and the adoption of enabling technology for remote connection. COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown acted as a catalyst to adopting remote work, initially as a temporary measure and subsequently to the new normal. Indeed the normalisation of remote work is seen by many to be a significant step forward toward the ‘future of work’. This ‘giant leap’ provides many organisations the opportunity to reimagine what work looks like, who will be doing it and where work will be done.

A promising trend worldwide

Remote work seems to be here to stay. Many industry thought leaders, such as Forbes, positions remote work as a certain in the future of work. In McKinsey’s recent Reimagine Work: Employee Survey, it was found that 52% of US employees would prefer a flexible working model after the pandemic is over.

Research typically focuses on the Western population’s opinions on remote work, with very few studies focusing on less developed nations’ experience of remote work. For instance, African countries are infamous for poor technology infrastructure, however, the changes to the world of work in recent years have led to increased investment in digital technology. This has meant that African people have had the opportunity to develop the required digital skills to navigate the remote world of work. Gaining the skills to join the global workforce offers an opportunity for some 1.37 billion people in Africa to find remote work. Africa is increasingly playing a role in the remote workforce, which has been made clear in the World Economic Forum’s research indicating that 42% of African employees work remotely at least once a week.

Individual and Organisational benefits of employing a remote workforce

Should leaders be very deliberate around the culture created in remote teams, there are numerous benefits to both the individual employee and organisation.

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employee benefit

How to set your remote employees up for success?

There are multiple benefits to remote working. However, the return on these investments is very much dependent on how remote teams interact and the subsequent culture and ways of work adopted by an organisation. Due to the challenges associated with establishing a remote team, particularly if members are in Africa, many leaders find themselves focusing on administrative tasks. For leaders to be successful in setting up an effective remote team, they need to be focused on what matters, and may benefit from partnering with an expert in setting up global teams for success.

Consider these few areas that AHR, as an Employer of Record, could assist leaders with, as they establish their international remote teams:

  1. Ensuring compliant expansion

When considering international expansion, there are many crucial considerations, including  data protection, visa requirements and tax and legal legislation. Organisations benefit greatly from having a trusted partner and advisor when making strategic decisions regarding expansion into Africa and the engaging of a remote team.

2. Managing work permits and visas for non-citizens

International mobility is increasingly becoming a perk that talent seeks when considering a new employer. Organisations can offer their employees the opportunity for secondments or short-term working stints in a country of interest, without the additional hassle of arranging work visas. AHR assist the employee in their application and manages the visa requirements and documentation.

3. Onboarding and offboarding

Different African countries are likely to have nuanced labour law that impacts the terms and conditions in employment contracts. Rather than needing to be an expert in labour law, AHR can assist in ensuring that legal contracts are aligned to the relevant labour legislation and protect both the employee and you as the client.

4. Handling the back-office

Granting leave days while maintaining a productive roster, and managing all payroll-related tasks, is within the purview of the expert team of your EOR. Let them handle these time and energy-consuming tasks while you focus on growing your business.

5. Devising policies that place you as an employer of choice

In a highly competitive job market, it is important to build a reputation as an employer of choice, so to be attractive to top talent. One key driver of an organisation’s reputation is their ethical and fair treatment of their employees and customers. A partnership with an EOR is an asset in ensuring fair practices in the country of choice and maintenance of a positive reputation as an employer of choice.

6. Additional layer of support to employees

Employees who form part of a global team may have questions and concerns regarding their contracts, tax, legislation, and best practice. AHR can assist in answering and resolving any questions or issues an employee may have. This ensures the employee is reassured and can focus on adding business value.

As a renowned Employer of Record, Africa HR solutions gives our clients access to a pool of experts in various fields, from Human Resources to Tax and Employment Law in 46 countries. By offering these services, we provide our clients with a solid foundation to expand their horizons, evolve, and create better remote working practices, one African country at a time.

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GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.