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Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic On Work Flexibility. A Case Study Of Vodafone Ghana( Takoradi)

Abstract

To give insight into human resource (HR) policy makers of the impact of the abrupt change in working conditions as reported from their primary stakeholders – the employees. Reported from a first-person point of view, 135 employees from Vodafone Ghana on how the lockdown circumstances have impacted their conventional work expectations. The study compares the old working conditions (OWC) to the current working conditions (CWC) to give insight into the overall sentiments of the abrupt changes to the workplace. It was found that most employees agreed that OWC need to be reviewed, and that the general sentiment was almost equally split on the efficiency of CWC in comparison to OWC, yet the majority was enjoying the flexible conditions. Moreover, the majority of respondents found that overall conventional work elements either remained the same or had been impacted positively rather than negatively. Also, if given an option of a hybrid model inclusive of partly working remotely and partly working on-site, a considerable majority reported that they are able to efficiently conduct atleast 80% of their work expectation. Finally, it was found that employee expectation is changing as they consider post COVID-19 conditions.

This research will give policy makers a look at what needs to be reviewed/changed for a successful roll-out of remote work in accordance with their original strategies.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the study

Organizations are progressively challenged with remaining serious and staying up with an extraordinary pace of progress in their surroundings (Tovstiga, 2013). Profoundly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) situations make open doors for associations yet in addition present dangers that expect them to be inventive and imaginative by the way they approach these difficulties, which are frequently unpredicted as well as may even be uncommon. Researchers have depicted how the HR work, through adjusted HR procedure and rehearses and molding employees’ innovative behaviors, can improve authoritative reaction to quickly changing outside serious conditions influencing their items or administrations (Cappelli & Tavis, 2018; Shafer et al., 2001; Shipton et al., 2017). The COVID-19 pandemic is a distinct case of troublesome change requiring quick modification by the HR work as associations respond to travel embargos and isolations, enormous scope workforce rebuilding and cutbacks, physical distancing and a general move to a work-from- home method of activities (McCulloch, 2020; Thomas et al., 2020; Wei & Wong, 2020).

The spread of COVID-19 in Ghana is now increasingly widespread across regions, accompanied by an increase in the number of cases and/or the number of deaths. This situation has increasingly impacted the political, economic, social, cultural, defense, security, and welfare aspects of the people in Ghana so that a comprehensive strategy and effort is needed in accelerating the handling of COVID-19. The business world and workers’ community have a big contribution to breaking the chain of transmission due to a large number of the worker’s population and the large mobility and interaction of the population are generally caused by activities at work. Workplace as a locus of interaction and gathering of people is a risk factor that needs to be anticipated the impact of transmission (MENKES, 2020). “We are facing the COVID-19 pandemic with 215 other countries, don’t let anyone still have the feeling that we are normal, so we don’t wear masks, forget to wash our hands after unnecessary crowding, this is seriously dangerous”, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo during a working visit to East Java Thursday, June 25, 2020 (Jokowi, 2020).

Reported on the page (Wikipedia, 2020), data shows the province of Accra ranks first in terms of positive confirmed cases of contracting the COVID-19 virus, with details: Tema with 12,321 cases, Legon with 11,637 cases, Labadi with 5,214 cases, Teshie with 4006 cases, and Taifa with 3,267 cases. This crisis is in no way, the only case of situations that require the HR capacity to be adaptable and responsive. Different models incorporate startling government choices and administrative changes that influence specialist versatility, rising innovations, and new aptitude requests, and the extraordinary development of the gig economy (Duncan et al., 2011; Kochan et al., 2019).

In a society loaded up with clashing obligations and duties, and adaptable work course of action has become a transcendent issue in the working environment. Three central points add to the enthusiasm for and significance of genuine thought of flexible work arrangement: worldwide rivalry, recharged enthusiasm for individual lives, family esteems, and a maturing workforce. Concerns have consistently been raised concerning strategy and discussions on flexible work arrangement of action from viewpoints of the nature of working life when weighed against the more extensive family matters. Nonetheless, the challenge has been the way employees would embrace great flexible work arrangement rehearses and how associations would receive arrangements to handle clashes that result from the interface of family or social weights and work pressure (Mungania et al., 2016).

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has shown how quickly industries need to react to quickly advancing HR-related matters (McCulloch, 2020; Sylvers & Foldy, 2020; Wei & Wong, 2020). For instance, workers in the financial division in Kenya are progressively associated with their works, working longer hours over 48 hours (Ioan et al., 2010), therefore, making it hard for workers to keep a harmony between work, family and other individual matters (Muhammadi & Qaisar, 2009). This has brought about work-life clashes, which has been revealed to be related to mental health problems like pressure and despair, which over the long haul influences performance of the organization (Mungania et al., 2016). Human capital is the reason for the development and assessing the workers along these lines is a key methodology for directors to adapt to worldwide rivalry and ecological vulnerabilities, to arrive at their goals and superior level. (Derin & Gökçe, 2016). Therefore, it is necessary to increase the innovative work behavior of human resources, especially in responding to the challenges amid the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

1.2 Statement of problem

The implementation of Vodafone Ghana( TAKORADI) tasks in the communication sector is supported by the internal management sector which is continuously being developed and improved. The demand for this sector has become even greater, given the challenges faced by Vodafone Ghana in the future are not easy, especially given the very complex problems faced by the national economy. In relation to the implementation of Vodafone tasks, and line with changes in the Ghanaian socio-political structure, internal management sector policy is directed primarily at the function as supporting the implementation of VOdafone’s main tasks through the provision of services quickly and appropriately (BI, 2013). The phenomenon that is happening right now, amid companies thinking of competitive advantage in order to continue to compete, companies are faced with the situation of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This makes it a challenge for management to formulate appropriate work regulation policies and stimulate innovative work behavior in order to maintain company performance. Therefore this encourages the identification of the effect of flexible work arrangements on employee performance through innovative work behavior of the communication sector employees of the West African country.

1.3 Research objectives

The ultimate objective of this study is to determine Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic On Work Flexibility.a Case Study Of Vodafone Ghana( Takoradi)., whether preestablished or as an abrupt response to the current corona crisis, can be conducted successfully in comparison to the elements and expectations of the conventional workplace. Reported from a first point of view (the employee), the feedback expected also includes expectations of a possible new work norm once all quarantines are lifted. Moreover, the general sentiments of employees toward emotional issues and distress will provide an overall picture of how the pandemic has impacted them in that element, and how in turn, that has impacted their efficiency and productivity. This research hopes to gain insight into the following:

(1) Comparing the efficiency of current work situation of working from home to the precorona conditions of working onsite;

(2) Exploring the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on conventional work expectations;

(3) Gaining feedback as to what employees expect from their workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.4 Research questions

The research questions used for this study revolve around the experience of employees as reported from their point of view. They question the impact of working from home on various elements and work expectations. In that, the aim is to answer the following questions:

(1) How do employees feel about their pre-pandemic work duties and expectations?

(2) To what degree does working from home affect conventional work duties and expectations?

(3) What are the general sentiments of virtual front-line workers regarding their company’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic?

(4) What changes are they hoping for and/or expecting after the pandemic?

1.5 Significance of study

The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

This study will reveal the effect of the 2019 novel Coronavirus pandemic on the work flexibility.

It will show how Vodafone has adapted to new working structure

1.6 scope/Limitation of study

This study will cover the new work experience in Vodafone Ghana. It will focus on the work flexibility in the communication firm.

This work was carefully researched, but due to financial problem and power failure, the work could not go the way I planed. This work will serve as a  basis for those that will carry out further research

FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS: Financial constraints tend to impede the students ability to get all the materials needed for the study but with the materials available the researcher was able to get meaningful information concerning the research topic above

TIME CONSTRAINTS: The researcher being a student will be involved with departmental activities like seminar presentation and attendance to class, but the researcher was able to meet up with the time allocated for the completion of the research work.

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