work from home

A Johannesburg woman’s request to HR to work from home during winter has gone viral.
Image by gomiche from Pixabay

SA woman’s HR request to ‘work from home in winter’ goes viral

‘I don’t see myself getting out of my warm bed in winter’, a Johannesburg woman shared in a work from home request to her HR department.

work from home

A Johannesburg woman’s request to HR to work from home during winter has gone viral.
Image by gomiche from Pixabay

A South African woman has appealed to her human resources (HR) department to permit her to work from home during the winter months.

Over the past week, much of the country has received a drastic dip in temperatures due to several cold fronts. 

According to recent surveys, many employers are adopting a “hybrid” working policy that includes work from home and office-based work.


On social media, Johannesburg HR professional Onkgopotse Legobye shared a letter she had received from an employee requesting to work from home in winter.

The letter from the unidentified woman reads as follows: “As winter is approaching, I am writing to request to work from home from 1 June to 31 August 2023.

“Winter is the coldest and darkest season, and I just don’t see myself getting out of my warm and cozy bed at 5am each weekday to come to work during this season.

“If my request is approved. I will be available on call and email throughout working hours from 8am to 4pm, Mondays to Fridays, to provide updates on my progress and ensure that all my talk will be promptly worked on”.

Legobye shared her shock and surprise at the woman’s request, which she denied.

@activehrplate Lol tell me HR professionals are always being tested without telling me. Theres part 1-5 and hope you look out for the other parts… #hr #hrm #humanresources #humanresourceshumor #humanresourceslife #hrmanager #management #companyculture ♬ take a moment to breathe. – normal the kid

In her official response to the woman, Legobye states: “I understand your concerns about the winter season. However, it is important to note that winter affects everyone, and you are not alone in experiencing these challenges.

“To work from home is considered a privilege and is granted based on personal seasonal preferences.”

However, the woman argued that her request was not unreasonable. She also asked if the company would permit employees instead to come in later.

“I think winter in Gauteng counts as exceptional circumstances.”

Legobye argued that the company could not justify the woman’s request, particularly when asking to work fewer hours for the same remuneration.

“Some people just enjoy pushing our buttons,” she added.

digital nomadism-remote working
Digital nomadism, the millenial trend for working remotely from anywhere around the world.
Image by pexels


During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common for many employees to work from home. But with the return to normalcy, many have also had to return to the working environment.

But is remote working a right or privilege?

In South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) of 1997 and the Labour Relations Act (LRA) of 1995 do not permit the right to disconnect or to work remotely.

An expert told BusinessTech: “(Employees) should not expect any legislative changes any time soon,” said the experts.

“For now, we recommend that flexible working arrangements be regulated in terms of policies.

“Employers should take proactive steps to discuss and decide what is practical within their environment and then clearly communicate their expectations to the staff who are impacted.”

According to Bowmans Firm, employment contracts must follow labour laws