In the interest of business, government and individuals, now is the time to consider teleworking for employees rather than tying them to a desk with a computer. COVID-19 has over the past few months caused a lot of damage across major cities of the world.

Interest rates of banks are being forced down, and primary reserves are being reduced. There are complete shutdowns of airline services, hospitality businesses, with tourism probably the worst hit; schools and institutions are on lockdown and many others.

Governments, organisations and individuals are doing their bit, but the question is should we stop work completely and deal with the virus or is there another way? The greatest route to reducing business losses is to encourage teleworking.

Teleworking allows employees to work in the confines of their homes and places other than their customary workplaces to ensure continuity in economic activities and promote economic growth. Some have termed this the digital or virtual working environment.

Teleworking, often referred to as “working from home”, “remote working” or “telecommuting” is the new phase of employment practised in some advanced and emerging economies of the world today.

Telework permits work from anywhere, anytime through the use of information communication technologies (ICT). A teleworker is defined by Macmillan dictionary (2013) as “someone who works at home on a computer and communicates with their office or customers by telephone, fax, or email”.

According to Reaney (2012), in Asia-Pacific, 24%; Latin America, 25%; Africa and the Middle East, 27% each and India 82% of employees are teleworking. The practise of teleworking in emerging markets is encouraging, as shown from the figures above.

Also, other economies, such as the United States of America in March 2010 approved legislation to promote telework in Federal agencies to enhance job flexibility and efficiency. According to Rosenberg (2010) the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 mandated a government-wide telework policy. Agencies are required to allow eligible employees to work at least 20 hours a week remotely.

Telework is a growing method of employment with multiple benefits. Telework is considered one of those best practices that ensures;

• Continuity in Business Operations: in the event of pandemics, such as the Corona virus (Covid-19), earthquakes and other emergencies that may affect transportation options, teleworking allows employees and employers to remain productive.

• Increase Productivity: According to the International Labour Office, companies such as Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical and many others show that teleworkers are 35-40% more productive than their colleagues in the office and absenteeism is also minimal, hence increases productivity when executed correctly.

• Reduce Office Cost and Increases Savings: Teleworking allows employers to cut back on overhead costs such as electricity, office space, among others to save more for the business. A poll of 1,500 technology professionals revealed that thirty-seven percent would take a pay cut of 10% if they could work from home (Global Workplace Analytics, 2018). On the other hand, employees will save money on commuting costs, expensive lunch, etc.

• Improve Work-Life Balance: Teleworking offers job flexibility that affords employees time to manage their lives. It saves about 1-3 hours of commuting time per day, which can be used to better balance their work requirements with personal needs.

The myriad of benefits in teleworking attest to the fact that it is an indispensable tool to the economic growth of societies. Hence the adoption of teleworking has come in handy in this season of Covid-19 to ensure continuity of economic activities to promote the growth of societies.

In conclusion, the future of the world of work could prove a mixed blessing as it allows the individual “to be more at home in their work, but also more at work in their home” (Freud, as cited in ILC Report, 2015).