How the work-from-home setup amid the pandemic has affected employees and businesses │ GMA News Online
According to a study by SEEK Asia, Boston Consulting Group and The Network, some 85% of Filipino office workers have been forcibly transferred to a work-from-home (WFH) setup since the start of the pandemic.
An episode of Need To Know addressed how the WFH setup has affected both employees and businesses in the Philippines amid the pandemic.
Both parties, the employers and its workers were forced to improvise just to keep operating. And according to Professor Jonathan De La Cerna, an industrial and organizational psychologist, who studied this type of work setup even before the pandemic, “The internet really paved the way for the type of work from home that we know now”.
“Where really people, especially the ones we call, we call them smart workers if I’m not mistaken. They’re really the type of workers who really do things in the computer, who also do services too” , he added.
Employees who upgraded to a WFH setup made big adjustments in their own homes so they could have office space for work.
At first, it may seem that the WFH setup is feasible and favorable to commuters who endure the long queues and traffic in Metro Manila.
It was also easy to think it would give you more time to spend with family.
But two years later, the question remains: have employees become more productive with the remote work setup?
In a previous interview with GMA News Online, clinical psychologist Jade Ibhar Cuambot said most people who have adapted to the WFH setup amid the pandemic have felt fatigued due to the invisible boundary between the work and home.
Since the start of the health crisis, many professionals have set up their work in the comfort of their homes, a place that used to be a place of relaxation, which they now associate with work and stress.
The workplace has also had complications with workers adopting the WFH setup. According to De La Cerna, the WFH has mitigated the “casual interactions” that often occur in the office. “Sometimes those interactions can trigger brilliant ideas,” he said.
“Meron ring mga hindi mo talaga pwedeng kunin for this type of virtual setup compared to a face-to-face setup or a traditional work setup,” he added.
According to the Need to Know report, those working in the coworking and staffing industries in the Philippines believe this is the future workplace.
Tracy Ignacio, chief operating officer of a local coworking and staffing company, said the WFH setup is the most significant change in a work setup since World War II.
“Medyo matini talaga ‘yung is changing given that you cannot thrive in a full back-to-office environment. Talagang companies have adapted to this situation by allowing flexibility for employees,” she said.
But WFH is not a new concept, especially for those in the BPO (business processing outsourcing) industries and, like most things, it has simply evolved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nowadays, work (work plus vacation) has started to grow in popularity, with workers doing their jobs from the beach, in the mountains, in cafes, and just about anywhere with resources available for their work.
“This type of alternative is very good because people have more control over where they work, which is why you have all these cafes, these workplaces, these techno nomads, the digital nomads that you see in Thailand,” De La Cerna said.
“Some people would prefer to work from another location because there is still para bang control, there is still segregation na iba ito. Iba itong physical space na ito. This is for work, this n It’s not a place where I dine, a place where I sleep and all those things put together,” he added.
According to an Airbnb press release, in the third quarter of 2021, more than 85% of long-term stays booked in the Philippines were for stays in city destinations.
Some of the most popular long-stay destinations in the country include Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Baguio.
Additionally, it states that “the share of people booking long-term stays on Airbnb who used their stays to live a nomadic lifestyle increased from 2020 to 2021, from 9% to 12%.”
In the Philippines, 45% of Filipinos surveyed want to rent their accommodation and travel.
Due to the possibilities of different working conditions, there has been a demand from employees for more flexibility, giving rise to what is now called the hybrid work setup.
This setup gives employees the choice of working in their physical office, from home, or from a vacation spot.
The report says the hybrid work setup can give employees the option of working for a week in the office or a week remotely, depending on the condition and the agreed-upon arrangement.
The report highlighted studies indicating that the hybrid work setup is most appropriate during this time, as it gives employees the opportunity to have social interaction with their colleagues, especially when they need to voice their concerns. related to work.
Apart from that, the report states that it is effective for working mothers with young children who need to be supervised.
The hybrid work setup is especially recommended in our country because some workers have a problem with internet connectivity and workspace.
A survey by the Development Academy of the Philippines showed that the majority of Filipinos working remotely were highly effective at their jobs.
Still, De La Cerna issued a reminder: “We must remember that the WFH setup does not apply to all types of industries. The work from home set up could really be effective.”
Given this, Ignacio said employers who cannot adapt to the remote work setup given the nature of their work need to reassure their workers of a safe environment to do their jobs.
“They are the safest employers around, and siguraduhin na talagang can be a safe environment sila kung saan pwede sila magtrabaho,” she said. – LA, GMA News