Africa is undoubtedly the largest talent pool for remote work in the world.
As the world slowly recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote jobs are becoming more popular across the African continent, and understandably so. The pandemic showed the world that remote work is a sustainable concept, and many African employers still sustain diverse remote-working plans for their employees.
Also, with the average unemployment rate in Africa standing at a staggering 12.88% after the pandemic, employees are changing their allegiances to traditional in-office work setups to get jobs. A report by a US-based firm noted that employers in Africa and around the world have taken note and increased the rate of hiring remote workers by 800 per cent.
Here is what you need to know about remote work and the benefits of working remotely in Africa.
A remote job is any job an employee can do outside the company's physical office. They can do the job from home, in coffee shops, hotels, or co-working places.
Remote jobs are based on the concept that not every job needs to be done inside a physical office to be carried out successfully. Therefore, employees can do the job from anywhere instead of commuting daily to the office, provided they meet the required targets.
In most situations, employees need a laptop and a good Wi-Fi connection to work remotely successfully. The Business Insider Africa magazine suggests that Marrakech, Nairobi, Zanzibar, Cairo, and Cape Town are arguably the best African cities for remote workers.
There are many reasons why many employees and employers embrace the idea of working remotely, especially in Africa. Here are some of them:
Remote work is cheaper for both employers and employees. It enables employees to save the money they would use for commuting, coffee, lunches in the city, professional outings, or client meetings and use it for other needs. Employers with remote workers also save money with smaller, less-expensive office spaces, fewer amenities, and lower utility and maintenance bills.
One of the main reasons most employees embrace working remotely in Africa is because it improves work-life balance.
Since employees have the freedom to start and end their working hours, they get enough time to attend to their personal lives. For instance, employees can use the extra time to run errands, hang out with friends, attend fitness sessions, take their kids to school, etc.
Generally, employees who work remotely deal with fewer distractions, no office politics, and fewer physical meetings than those working in a physical office. Additionally, employees working remotely do not have to commute to and from work daily, and they can take brief breaks during the day as they please.
Employees have the opportunity to get rid of everything that will distract them and, ideally, design the workplace to help them focus. This way, they get more done quickly, driving the company's productivity.
Instead of restricting human resources to hiring candidates who live within the company's location, they can hire top talent from other African countries and beyond. This is usually good for a company's Return on Investment (ROI).
No employer wants to lose a good employee. While it may be challenging to compete with big companies in terms of salaries and benefits, employers offering a more flexible working arrangement can help keep employees in the company for a long period.
Many reports have shown that employees are more likely to respond to job postings that allow them to work remotely.
There is no denying that most people in Africa like the convenience and flexibility of working remotely. That said, various remote jobs are becoming increasingly popular by the day. This may be attributed to their great pay and the career advancement opportunities they offer. The following are the best popular remote jobs in Africa and the greater EMEA region:
Software engineering is undoubtedly the most popular occupation for those holding remote jobs in Africa and the greater EMEA region. A software engineer requires basic and advanced knowledge in programming, automated testing, and cloud-based systems.
With extensive knowledge in these programming languages, DevOps engineers can be contracted to create websites, applications, and various software. There are approximately 690,000 professional software engineers in Africa, most of which are in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt.
Many people spend a significant amount of their time on social media. Therefore, it's no surprise that digital marketing has become such a booming industry in recent years. Many marketing managers and public relations professionals in Africa are exploring various digital marketing strategies to gain new customers for their companies. This means job seekers can expect many digital marketing jobs to surface in the coming years.
Copywriters play an essential role for most companies and organizations by producing various content to support businesses. Businesses usually hire copywriters to write blog posts, appealing and persuasive landing pages, and advertising copies.
Many companies, especially in East Africa, rely on copywriters to promote their business missions and create content that resonates with their potential customers. Even though many copywriters in Africa are freelancers, finding a remote job as a copywriter is easy.
The E-Commerce industry in Africa has grown immensely in recent years, with Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa accounting for over 21 million online shoppers. The need for prompt customer service has also grown with the increase in online shoppers and delayed deliveries.
As a result, remote companies are becoming increasingly proactive in hiring remote representatives to handle customer inquiries and complaints in real time. Nowadays, it's easy to land an entry-level customer support specialist job in most African countries. All one needs is good communication skills, empathy, and quick problem-solving ability.
A project manager oversees the planning and execution of a project. Project managers usually coordinate all the necessary tasks and processes to complete a company's goal. Additionally, a project manager is tasked with pricing, quality assurance, and ensuring that the company maintains standards and quality for all its products.
They rely on web conferences and other scheduling tools to delegate duties to employees, coach them and assess their performances. Generally, a company project's ultimate success or failure depends on the project manager's competency. That said, the demand for competent project managers has increased and created thousands of remote jobs.
The following are the various types of remote jobs:
Employees work full-time or part-time from their homes or other working spaces for remote jobs instead of the company's physical office. Employees who hold fully remote job positions in Africa can live and work from anywhere in the world. These employees are entitled to the same rights and benefits as their in-office counterparts.
Some of Africa's most popular fully remote job positions include sales, computer programming, tutoring, software development, digital marketing, virtual assistant, and bookkeeping.
These remote jobs allow employees to work from home on certain days and report to the company's offices on other days. Most remote jobs in Africa involve this arrangement, including sales and marketing, IT, finance, customer support specialist, data analyst, healthcare, and accounting.
Freelancers are independent employees who work for multiple clients on a short-term basis and are not bound by an employment contract from any company worldwide. Freelancers discuss terms of pay and deadlines with their clients before work commences.
Freelancers can also pick short-term projects on top of their full-time or part-time jobs. The most popular fields for freelancing include copywriting and content creation, filmmaking, software development, and related fields.
The following are the various requirements jobseekers should have when applying for a remote job in Africa:
● Strong communication skills and the ability to communicate using multiple channels.
● Extensive knowledge of multiple organization tools, including Trello, Office 365, Google Suite, Zapier, etc.
● Extensive knowledge of various workflow management methods.
● Cultural sensitivity facilitates collaboration with people from different countries, cities, and cultural backgrounds.
● Self-management and accountability.
One major challenge of remote work is that most existing African cultures have not adopted remote work as an established means of employment. As a result, people who work remotely find it hard to convince their peers and family members that they are gainfully employed. Sometimes, they also find it challenging to convince institutions and firms that their remote-working experience is as solid as that of in-office workers.
Also worth noting is that remote work brings greater chances of miscommunication because it is done via phone calls or video conferencing, which can have interferences or disruptions. Other remote work-related challenges include distractions within one's household and poorer team collaboration.
Africa is undoubtedly the largest talent pool for remote work in the world. As an employer, consider reaching out to Workpay to help you legally hire, manage and pay remote employees in Africa without the need to establish a legal entity. We have automated processes and compliance ideally tailored to suit your unique needs and requirements.
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