FUE and ILO launch “NEXT Normal: The Next Normal: The Changing Workplace in Uganda”

The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) launched earlier this month at the quarterly CEO Forum (November 2022) a new Report “NEXT Normal : The Next Normal: The Changing Workplace in Uganda” that looked at the impact of COVID 19 on Ugandan workplaces.

News | 23 November 2022
Overall, the key message emanating from the report was the dramatic effects of COVID 19 on workplaces in Uganda. Many enterprises have had to majorly alter their operations and production processes, human resource strategies, work modalities and many other aspects of their enterprises.
Speaking during the unveiling of the report, Douglas Opio, the FUE Executive Director highlighted that the report would serve as an integral part and benchmark for employers to align business operations and maximize productivity. He said: "From our findings, some enterprises retain in person work modalities with 23% citing the lack of systems for coordinating remote work and 21% alluding to risks of loss of productivity due to adapting remote work." Opio noted with concern that the labour force survey carried out in 2021 (and launched with the ILO also in November 2022) indicated 87% of the population has never used the internet. He said the level of productivity and quality of work remains low due to several factors including lack of business records, lack competent people and low wage levels.
The survey carried out by the Federation of Uganda Employers FUE in partnership with the International Labour Organisation revealed that some organisations have found that there are technological or practical challenges to performance monitoring, such as internet unreliability.
Gary Rynhart, ILO Senior Employers' Specialist in his remarks said the report presents an opportunity to improve workplace relations. He advised employers to embrace flexi-work, digitalization, occupational health and safety to minimize high operation costs and enhance employee retention.
The report noted that Covid-19 created a range of new opportunities and challenges for the human resources side of a business.
"A great number of enterprises reported a big number of distress among employees as they feared the unknown. For many businesses today, the mental and emotional wellbeing of workers has become even more closely intertwined with the successful operation of the enterprise. Work spaces changed as a result pushing improvement on hygiene practices, ventilation and IT skills. The shift to remote work created new costs for both employers and employees with the former reporting a reduction in operation costs," the report revealed.