Employees, companies welcome Work-From-Home setup as “new normal”

HSBC Philippines
Work From Home new normal
The “new normal” will likely have more people setting up work-from-home or telecommuting arrangements away from their usual corporate office. Photo from Lenovo.

Employees and companies are welcoming the Work From Home (WFH) set up as the “new normal” evolves following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new survey shows the Philippines is joining the worldwide trend of encouraging people to work from home wherever feasible to intensify social distancing.

The new research results conducted by Lenovo shows most employees (87%) feel at least somewhat ready to make the shift to working from home (WFH), if required.

The majority (77%) expect companies to be more accepting of WFH policies after the pandemic passes.

The research results were released amidst the government’s extending of the enhanced community quarantine to May 15 in select regions, provinces, and cities, including Metro Manila to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The research also shows that employees and businesses are using smart technologies to adapt to the WFH arrangement.

“Our survey suggests that the employee experience was already changing before the pandemic hit,” said Michael Ngan, President and General Manager of Lenovo Philippines.

Ngan cites that regular work from home arrangements have grown 159& in the Unites States over the last 15 years and that the same increase is happening in other markets.

“While our current situation is extraordinary, we are seeing a real willingness from workers to adapt and adopt flexible work arrangements. This confirms that corporate technology investments are paying off, as most people now feel productive at home and believe that the workforce will move more in this direction once the crisis has passed,” Ngan adds.

The Lenovo leadership says that even after the community quarantine is lifted, the Philippine government is expecting reduced economic activity as a result of the public’s hesitation to engage with others in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

Work From Home, also known as Telecommuting, was already eyed as a solution to perennial traffic even before the lockdown. The gig economy – freelance hiring through online platforms – has been thriving as well.

The Telecommuting Act (R.A. 11165) was signed into law to allow employees to conduct work at home or remotely while Payoneer’s 2019 Global Gig-Economy Index indicates the Philippines currently ranks sixth in the world and is the fastest-growing market for the gig industry.

Worldwide, the rapid adoption of WFH policies has been made possible by the increasing sophistication and affordability of smart mobile technology, which has enabled many employees to work when away from their desks.

Here are Lenovo’s Tips for a Productive Remote Workforce:

  • Get the tech in place: remote work requires handy laptops, video conferencing technology, and other collaboration tools.
  • Hold a team meeting at the same time every day: working remotely requires ongoing communication
  • Make video conferencing the new normal: Video conferencing and content-sharing tools keep employees connected
  • Keep a team chatroom open all day: A single open group chatroom will likely see more chatting
  • Encourage flexible work schedules: let your workforce know that you understand that they may be juggling work and home responsibilities

A new Work At Home gig economy platform for Filipinos in lockdown was launched on Labor Day, May 1, 2020, by Seoul-based IT and multimedia artist, Nash Ang, following the establishment of his Pinoy California home delivery app.

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