Solar power enables bank employees to work seamlessly from home


HARARE-The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operates worldwide, with working from home having become the new normal for many businesses, particularly during strict lockdown periods.

The internet and modern information communication technology has made this possible. However, it has also required that some businesses invest in providing resources for their employees to make this possible.

This may have included providing them with laptops, internet connectivity through WiFi or mobile data and in some cases solar power in ar- eas where electricity supplies are erratic. SafeSolar, part of the Safe- guard Security Group, installed 60 single panel 1kVA solar systems at the homes of key employees of one of the country’s multinational banks so that key workers living in areas with erratic electricity supplies could continue to keep the bank operational while working from home.

It supplied 50 systems during the first wave of Covid-19 and a further 10 during the second wave. Areas in which these were provided included Mbare, Ruwa, and Hatcliffe. These small solar systems enabled these key employees to be online and continue working together at the same time, while staying at home, even when there were power cuts, thus ensuring the continuity of the bank’s operations.

SafeSolar provides solar power systems from the smallest system to large 30kVA systems and above. It provides systems for houses, commercial businesses, mines, farms, safari camps and any other sector where solar power is required, whether as a standby system or as the main source of electricity.

It installs them as integrated or stand-alone systems or as alternative power solutions for electronic security products such as alarms, CCTV and electric gates. For small homes it offers a 3kVA system. A 5kVA system is ideal for a larger home or for the office, while it installs large scale solar systems from 10kVA to 30 kVA and larger single and three phase solar power systems designed specifically for particular customers’ needs.

“There is no home or busi- ness for which we cannot provide the best possible solar power solution,” said SafeSolar managing director Andrew Chadwick. “Covid-19 has changed office working habits funda- mentally the world over. Zim- babwe is no excep-tion. “Essential businesses have had to balance the welfare of their employ- ees with continuing to provide a service to their cli- ents, while also com- plying with regulations restricting movement. Business leaders had to innovate quickly. “Working from home seemed the only option.

This meant providing the resources to empower employees to work from home. “For many companies this may have been as simple as provid- ing laptops and mobile data but for some companies, such as those in the banking sector where multiple workers had to be online simultaneously for the business to function effectively, additional planning had to be undertaken and resources provided. This also had to be done at short notice, as lockdowns took effect,” Chadwick said.

“We found that a number of companies needed to provide solar power to enable employees to be online when working from home, even when there were power failures. Our major client for this service was a large multinational bank.

“Of course we also had to find ways of providing this service, while ensuring that our own employees observed the necessary Covid-19 precautions,” he said. Safeguard’s own operations also required solar power back-up, in particular the control room for its rapid response service. “We have integrated solar within all Safeguard’s divisions,” he said.

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