When the pandemic hit, many Filipino workers suddenly found themselves in a remote work setup. At home all the time, missing the interaction with co-workers, and perhaps longing for their office desk. However, after over two and a half years, with life going back to normal given low Covid-19 transmission, it’s now the other way around. Many seem to have fallen in love with their respective work-from-home setups.
Workers now claim to have increased productivity, not to mention savings, when working from home compared to reporting to the office. This in itself is already a win-win situation for the company and the employee. Even so, the country is now seeing better days of the pandemic, and restrictions have now eased.
Companies are now scaling up onsite operations, meaning more workers are returning to their offices. But wait, what about the progress so many people made? We discuss.
Here to Stay
In 2019, President Duterte signed the “Work From Home” bill into law. And with the pandemic sweeping the work landscape months later, so many employers and employees jumped into the unknown, and have managed to do well.
A hybrid or remote work setup is the next preferred evolution of the workplace, according to the 2022 survey “Going Hybrid: The Future of Work” conducted by Sprout Solutions. Sprout is a local Software as a Service (SaaS) company.
Out of 8,184 employees surveyed, 91% said they wanted a hybrid setup or fully remote work. Of the remote employees, over 70% adore their current remote setup, but only around 43% feel engaged.
The survey also found that 80% of human resources (HR) administrators and managers preferred hybrid or remote setup as well. Also, 64.6% admitted needing help to understand how to make the setup work.
However, there are also downsides to a hybrid work or remote work setup. Without an environment where teams can have conversations or hang out during breaks, engaging with others now requires focused effort. Failure to meet these needs can lead to isolation, unhappiness, and diminishing passion towards shared goals.
According to company leaders in the country, to combat this, the workplace of the post-pandemic era will have to adapt with hybrid, flexible personnel policies tailored to the organization’s needs.
Hybrid or remote work is an attractive concept that promises a workplace culture of efficiency and productivity whatever the setup is. However, it may also pose challenges in collaboration and connectivity. Of course, businesses and companies could provide top-of-the-line connectivity services in their offices like Elon Musk’s Starlink, but employees working from more challenging environments may have a different story to tell.
The solution to this problem is to invest in equipment and infrastructure that could support remote or hybrid work. However, there is no one-size-fits-all for this challenge. For hybrid setup to work, organizations must be willing to innovate and invest in technology, understand their employees’ personal needs on a deeper level, and effectively manage the equity of the time spent at home and in the office.
Company leaders reinforced that technology would fuel the setup to make it truly work. However, it must be noted that both the employer and employees have the responsibility and accountability to make hybrid working efficient and adaptable to their own needs and work style.
Employees must also step up, and rid their remote setups of any distractions or disadvantages. Loud background noises, tardiness, and equipment/hardware malfunction are some common problems we’ve encountered over these last 2.5 years. We can’t have any more of that.
The good news? Remote work or a hybrid setup seems here to stay for many Filipinos. As long as businesses and organizations can adapt and have a feasible plan for their respective workforces, of course. Many should be able to pull it off. At the core of it, these modern ways of working promote trust, work ethic, and ultimately higher productivity – all necessary to better business.
Here’s to a new normal of work to help the Philippine economy!