As part of UGBS’ weekly Covid, Business and Society (web) Seminar (COBUSS) Series, The Department of Organisation and Human Resource Management to its turn to host the weekly event on May 14, 2020 via Zoom. The speakers for the seminar were Professor Seth Oppong, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Wing Commander (Rtd.) Samuel J.A. Allotey, Human Resource Director, GRIDCO, Dr. Kwasi Dartey-Baah, and Dr. Yvonne Lamptey both of faculty of the Department of OHRM, UGBS. The seminar was moderated by Professor Kwesi Amponsah Tawiah, Head of OHRM Department, UGBS and chaired by Professor Justice N. Bawole, Dean of UGBS.
Professor Seth Oppong presented on the topic, “Reorganising Workspaces for Social Distancing in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic”. He began his presentation with the nature of Covid-19, its spread and impact on humans. He spoke about public health protocols for prevention such as social or physical distancing, good hand hygiene, wearing of PPEs and abstinence from activities that weaken the lungs like smoking. He emphasized the importance of workspace redesign for social distancing such as the freestanding layout, uniform layout, and free-form layout. Prof. Oppong concluded his speech by explaining the implications of redesigning the workspace layouts for organisations.
Dr. Yvonne Lamptey spoke on the topic, “Covid-19 and Worker Resilience”. She started by saying it was important to measure the resilience of labour in this period, which she defined as the measure of demand and supply of sustainable jobs. Her presentation covered how to achieve labour market resilience through structural, policy and equilibrium paths. Dr. Lamptey emphasized on three pillars to fight Covid-19 based on International Labour Organisational standards: Protecting workers in the workplace, Stimulating the economy and labour demand, and Supporting employment and incomes.
Speaking on the topic, “Working Effectively from Home: Management and Team Perspectives in Covid-19”, Wing Commander (Rtd) Samuel J.A. Allotey drew attention firstly to the jump-start of workers to work from home due to the pandemic, despite the unreadiness to do so. Loneliness and boredom, Wi-Fi connectivity issues and power naps that extend beyond schedule, are some of the downsides of working from home he spoke about. Concluding his discussion, Wing Commander (Rtd) Allotey said that despite the pandemic situation at hand, there are some benefits to the “new normal”. These include improved employee retention due to reduced stress, convenience, financial savings for employees and productivity gain due to fewer interruptions. He then gave some tips that could be mastered to help those working from home.
A discussion on “Confronting the ‘Revelations’ of Covid-19: A Leadership Call” was spearheaded by Dr. Dartey-Baah. “Covid-19 lays bare the cruelty of neoliberalism, the political leadership in Nigeria” and “Coronavirus exposes weaknesses in health systems: G20” are part of a few revelations disclosed by Dr. Dartey-Baah. He then discussed the two-font leadership call as being effective leadership as well as an effective and efficient decentralisation drive. He concluded with a question to the audience for deliberation: In confronting the ‘Revelations’ of Covid-19 and in handling crisis, do we need more women in leadership roles or not?
A Question and Answer session followed each presentation.
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