By Joseph Ondiek
The idea of working from home has spread across the world, which has given a new dimension of running an organisation or any business at ease. Studies have shown that working from home increases employees’ productivity, saves money, and also decreases the stress level of handling employees.
The founder and managing director of Amahoro Tours, Greg Bakunzi, says that ever since he started his company in 2001, he has never moved away from where it was established – that is, at his residential place.
Amahoro Tours is tucked behind the main Musanze bus park in a small, but quaint and serene residential building, and Bakunzi says such business setting has its many advantages, including the comfort of doing business from where he lives.
“There is a high degree of comfort when you work from home. And one of its greatest benefit is that you’re able to cut costs on some expenses like renting an office from an expensive commercial space, which might not be sustainable in the long run,” says Bakunzi.
He adds that running his office from home has also helped him interact with people in a less formal way, since his intention was to make Amahoro Tours more of a public enterprise and less of a private one.
Bakunzi says that Amahoro Tours’ core value is to promote community-based tourism and, by operating his business this way, away from the hustle and bustle of a busy commercial environment, all cadres of people are free to move in and share their ideas on how the business can be improved.
“People normally come with different innovative ideas on how we can improve and we keep on initiating new events and programmes. Having people closer to us and operating an open-door policy makes them feel that they are part and parcel of the business. It makes us do our work differently and the cumulative result is that we are able to improve,” says Bakunzi.
He adds that when you operate from home, people are not afraid of freely walking in and sharing with you their ideas.
“They come here as if they are coming home, as opposed to an architecturally intimidating and expensively furnished commercial space that can easily scare many people away, particularly when you are operating a public enterprise focusing on community-based tourism.”
Bakunzi says that he established Amahoro Tours when tourism in Rwanda was still a virgin industry. Having lived in Musanze, one of the breadbaskets of tourism in the country, this was the only profitable business he could learn from the place where he grew up and knew very well.
Furthermore, Bakunzi says establishing Amahoro Tours didn’t need a lot of capital layout but sheer determination and solid will to succeed.
“That’s why I easily jumped into the opportunity to establish this business from home where I live, and since then it has been a rollercoaster of one success after another,” he says.