Stay Put? Kenyans Would Rather Head Back to Work

Sixteen percent of Nairobi residents reported back to work in the last week despite appeals from authorities for Kenyans to work from home where possible, the Google Community Mobility Report shows.

The latest edition of the movement tracker pioneered by the technology company shows that fewer Kenyans are staying at home compared to previous weeks but while at it, Kenyans are staying away from populated areas.

Consequently, recreational areas like restaurants, shopping centers, movie theatres have recorded a 5 percent reduction in movement but the statistic is likely to change following the government’s directive to re-open restaurants and eateries. Further interventions are also likely to affect the statistic.

Google’s report also shows the movement to work led to an 8% reduction in activity in residential spaces.

The number of Kenyans using public transport such as buses and trains has dipped by 6 percent while 7% less Kenyans are trooping to grocery stores and pharmacies.

In the report, Google’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Africa Dorothy Ooko said that the avoidance of public spaces trend replicates itself in traffic flow to national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens that saw a three percent reduction in movement.

“In Mombasa, there is a 10 per cent increase in people within work spaces and a two per cent reduction in people moving within residential areas. Kisumu has recorded an increase of 14 per cent of those going to work and a three per cent reduction of movement in residential spaces in the past week,” the statement read.

The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports were launched by Google as part of the company’s response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The tracker is tailored to help Kenyans embrace social distancing guidelines as well as help governments craft strategies to protect their citizens.

Unproductive?

This comes in the backdrop of the launch of another report by Marketing Research Agency Consumer Insights Africa which revealed 81% of employed Kenyans believe that they are not productive working from home.

According to the report, only two per cent felt productive working from home while three per cent of the 1,083 respondents said their productivity had remained the same.

The survey compiled between March 28 and 31 provoked the thinking that working from home benefits employees as employers try to coax productivity from their employees away from their work stations.

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