Like many businesses in South Africa , Covid 19 has had a devasting effect on how they function in terms of staffing and how many people are allowed inside the office at a time .
With the government advocating 50 % or less staff in the office , we tried that and having the team working remotely but it didn’t work very well as we had to schedule conference calls or zoom / teams / skype calls and we had many connectivity issues either with the clients or our team given network or mobile coverage .
In addition we had a number of satellite offices either 2 or 3 people all over South Africa , like Durban , Johannesburg , Port Elizabeth and Pretoria but with Covid 19 we found that when we catered for 1 staff member in the office presented a few challenges , either suspected Covid 19 scares with family or friends , or comorbidities like high blood pressure , asthma or diabetes and an appointment with a client , they did not show up or called in sick etc , it played havoc with our brand where people thought we were not serious . You will be aware many government departments open and close leaving much to be desired in terms of rendering services to their clients and here Home Affairs , Civic , Immigration and Refugee affairs are prime examples .
We have learned from this and asked ourselves how could we be operational 100 % of the time , keeping our people safe , allow continuity in our business , ensure clients were served , calls answered , files kept up to date and to this end we came up with the “ silo “ concept very much like future doomsday events depicted in movies and we invested heavily in cloud technology , remote access , secure encrypted calls , allow our staff to be at work 100 % of the time in secure bubbles where they worked in a sterile environment and we slowly shut down our remote satellite offices and brought the team to head office .