Covid-19 and its effects in the workplace from an HR perspective

Madri Speelman – Namibia Media Holdings HR Officer

During the last two years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen multiple changes in how the operational functions of the NMH group of companies has changed. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Namibia, NMH has been vigilant in informing all employees of the dangers and precautions to be taken in order to better protect themselves from the virus. Employees have been encouraged on a daily basis to ensure they get vaccinated in order to assist the country in obtaining herd immunity. In order to make this even more accessible, NMH has created its own vaccination centre, which has assisted many more than just NMH employees.

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on both the company and its employees. We were privileged to not have been in the situation where we had to retrench employees, however we still had to make sacrifices in terms of salary cuts. With this we tried to ensure that employees were not worse off financially than before the pandemic hit.

Employees are encouraged to try and have a fail-safe system in terms of having savings accounts if possible. Employees are also encouraged to ensure they have enough food stored and basic medicines in order to assist them should they contract the virus and unable to care for their families.

As an organisation we have adapted along with the rest of the world in terms of making technology a much bigger part of our working lives. We have adopted working from home and took it in our stride as a company. Not always as easy as it may seem, but we had quite a successful flow of operations during the lockdown period. The integration of technology and not being able to sit in an office has its own pros and cons. Some said they were more productive as there were no distractions, and others said they felt like they were going out of their minds with the quiet around them. Technology has allowed us to become way more flexible in the way we work and the hours we work as well.

The NMH Group has made big strides in making sure the company and its employees grow. We have lost, but through the losses we as a group grew and stood stronger. We remain dedicated to our values and strive to see a better tomorrow for all.