Original Research

Perceptions of flexible work arrangements in selected African countries during the coronavirus pandemic

Sulaiman O. Atiku, Andrew Jeremiah, Frank Boateng
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 51, No 1 | a2285 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v51i1.2285 | © 2020 Sulaiman O. Atiku, Andrew Jeremiah, Frank Boateng | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 July 2020 | Published: 15 December 2020

About the author(s)

Sulaiman O. Atiku, Department of Management, Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business, Faculty of Management Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia
Andrew Jeremiah, Department of Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia
Frank Boateng, Department of Management Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana


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Abstract

Purpose: Employers and governments on the African continent were forced to implement flexible work arrangements (FWAs) to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) without adequate preparations. This study investigated employees’ perceptions of FWAs adopted by employers in selected African countries during the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional survey research design rooted in a quantitative approach was adopted for this study. Hence, a combination of purposive sampling and snowball technique was adopted to gather valid information on the use of FWAs, employers’ support and safety precautions, information technology (IT) support and productivity in Africa during the lockdown. An online survey link was provided to respondents who were working from home in selected African countries. Data were analysed using a covariance-based structural equation modelling via SmartPLS.

Findings/results: The study found that employers’ support and safety precautions, as well as IT support, exert significant influence on the use of FWA in African countries. Therefore, the use of an FWA during the lockdown in selected African countries mediates the relationship between the employer and IT supports, and employees’ productivity.

Practical Implications: Employers’ backing and IT support are fundamental for the effective implementation of FWAs and enhancement of employees’ productivity in African countries.

Originality/value: There is a shortage of studies on the adoption of FWAs during a pandemic in Africa. This study provides empirical evidence on the use of an FWA and its effect on employees’ productivity during a pandemic in Africa.


Keywords

Africa; COVID-19; employer support; employees’ productivity; IT support; teleworking.

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