South Africans are dealing with load shedding. Yet another challenge for pilot participants, which I have opted to call “load shifting” instead. At the start of March 2023, pioneering companies piloting the four-day workweek were tasked with reducing the workday by eight hours, this during periods of intermittent energy supply.
Load shedding is described as “…an energy utility’s method of reducing demand on the energy generation system by temporarily switching off the distribution of energy to certain geographical areas.” This translates to companies and households having to deal with power outages two to three times per day that can last up to 2.5 hours per session.
This can be considered a problem, as most of the tools we use to get meaningful work done is reliant on the supply of electricity. I do perceive a silver lining here. During load shedding, I can shift my workload from my laptop to pen and paper (where I do my best brainstorming/strategizing anyway). This has worked well on my day off too.
Instead of jumping on the various load shedding apps and social sites to complain, I have opted to spend my time more efficiently. A day off has provided clarity of thought. Since EskomSePush helps me plan my day around load shedding, I use those two hours to do some offline work. This can be mapping out personal projects with pen and paper, doing the dishes, reading a book, playing with my Isabella, enjoying a cup of tea with Lezarne or any number of activities that do not require electricity.
While we have very little power over load shedding (pun intended), load shifting allows us to focus on things we can control. In addition, this intermittent loss of electricity is a positive event. I have seen it enough times to know that television sets, radios, lights and other appliances are on at all hours of the day. Load shedding forces these devices to be switched off. This lowers the negative impact fossil fuel dependency has on the planet. The four-day workweek has proven this last point with its reduced carbon emissions statistics and load shedding has even expedited South Africa’s energy revolution journey.
I know my fellow South Africans, it’s a lot to deal with. First there was the pandemic that sought to overwhelm us, then water shortages, then junk status and now Eskom’s troubles. Load shedding will not be what ends us. Our legendary resilience is being tested once again. We will not go into that long, dark, quiet night without a fight and without the desire to once again emerge into the light.
4 Day Week SA, INFJ, dear INFJ, 4 Day Workweek, 4 Day Week, Future Of Work, Entrepreneurship, Lead With Empathy, South Africa’s Digital Revolution, Work Time Reduction, Reduced Workweek Revolution, Wellbeing In The Workplace, Proudly South African
David-John Wayne Bailey is an INFJ from Cape Town, a proud pioneer pilot participant of 4 Day Week SA and an advocate of a four-day week for everyone working in South Africa.