I noted a few days ago that Nigeria can use WFH (work from home) policy to manage the traffic congestion paralysis in the nation. In cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, well-redesigned incentives can encourage companies to architect WFH operational models. But for it to work, a national policy may be required. If not, some governors may be afraid of losing tax revenues over WFH. Yes, why will Lagos state support companies that do WFH only for Lagosians to move into Ogun State, and live therein, while working for a company in Lagos? The state government may think that it could lose many residents and the associated benefits of hosting workers. So, Nigeria has to address this issue at the national level, or at least regional, to create a balanced equilibrium in the system.
There is a policy opportunity here: With incentives to get companies to go WFH (work from home) in Lagos and our big cities, the government can magically solve our traffic paralysis! If that policy happens, people can move into second and third tier cities, reducing traffic congestion in big ones like Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt. But for that to happen, incentives must be offered by governments at both federal and local levels.
As that happens, I expect a new sub-sector in the consulting industry to emerge: WFH consulting. WFH consultants will help companies to develop policies, implement WFH and execute the playbooks, making sure productivity is not affected in companies that go WFH. This redesign is real and I expect it to be the new normal.
Facebook is embracing work from home well beyond the pandemic, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he expects as many as half of Facebook employees to work remotely by 2030. The shift will be gradual and will require new tools to offset lost in-person interactions, said the chief. Current workers who move have to disclose their new address by the end of the year, and potentially face a pay cut. Facebook has more than 45,000 employees, making it the largest company to announce plans to permanently work from home.
Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify said it will allow most workers to work from home indefinitely. Twitter and Square have also announced similar plans.
Google is letting employees work from home through the end of the year, while Amazon and Microsoft employees can continue to work remotely through at least October.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase plans to adopt a “remote-first” policy, allowing employees to decide between their homes or the office, even after pandemic restrictions are eased.
Consulting firms – a new market is evolving.