Load-shedding to render working from home ineffective

The re-emergence of power cuts across the country attributed to technical faults at Hwange and Kariba power stations has the potential of rendering working home ineffective, CITE can report.

A number of companies and organisations have had their employees working from home since April as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has infected over 6 400 and claimed nearly 200 lives.

When the idea of working from home was first mooted the time Zimbabwe went into the initial 21-day lockdown on March 30, some people expressed their reservations basing on erratic power supplies.

However, since April the country has been experiencing uninterrupted power supplies until last month when load-shedding was reintroduced.

In a recent statement, the power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) said the technical challenges at the two power stations had resulted in the limited power supplies to the national electricity grid.

“ZESA would like to advise its valued customers countrywide of the continued limited power supply on the national electricity grid as a result of technical faults at Hwange and Kariba power stations,” said power utility.

“Load curtailment will continue being exercised during the morning peak (5am to 10am) and the evening peak (4pm to 8pm) across the country. Customers are advised to use the available power sparingly as the power utility works towards restoration of service to optimum levels. Customers will be updated as the situation improves.”

“The power cuts currently being experienced are having a huge impact on working from home,” Sipho Nyoni, a Bulawayo resident told CITE.

“Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, most people had taken to doing their work mostly from home but with the power cuts being experienced that will be difficult to do as most of the work relies on the availability of electricity. Most work at home jobs require electrical power and those who have set up office or work stations at home will suffer a lot from this electricity situation.”

He said should the power situation continue as it is now, working from home could cost a number of entities.

“In the long run if the situation continues as it is, working from home, which has been promoted as some kind of safety net by many companies will have a negative resultant effect with little or next to no production coming from those who are meant to be working from home.”

Business analyst, Ndumiso Ncube, said power cuts were negatively impacting on working from home, adding he recently missed an online meeting, where he was meant to be the keynote speaker as a result of load-shedding.

“That not only affected me but all stakeholders who had logged in,” he lamented.

“This implies indirect losses especially in terms of other people’s precious times which further translates to dollars and cents.”

He said should power cuts persist, working from home would become unsustainable for many.

“It definitely won’t be sustainable due to different power cut timetables of colleagues who conduct business together and not clearly laid out (load-shedding) timetables and sometimes not stuck to.”

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