With fuel prices soaring and heavy traffic resuming in metropolitan areas across the country, the telecommuting law that was enacted in 2018 has become a major concern as various sectors have voiced support for further arrangements. alternative work. This law allows people in the private sector to work “from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunications and/or computer technologies”.
While the law was affected in 2018, it was the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and subsequent lockdowns that led government, private sector and even public sector employers to implement quickly and widely. alternative working arrangements such as working from home (WFH) and hybrid models (part onsite, part telecommuting). For example, exporting companies such as the IT-BPM industry, which is the second largest contributor of revenue to the Philippine economy with 1.4 million workers, is one of the industries that have successfully deployed this approach. The IT-BPM Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has appealed the FIRB’s latest decision regarding telecommuting and is in constant coordination with relevant government stakeholders to elucidate the industry’s position. IBPAP has highlighted all the relevant points related to business efficiency, social benefits, socio-cultural and economic considerations of teleworking as well as a hybrid arrangement.
One of the employers in this industry is customer experience solutions and technology leader Concentrix, whose WFH population is already approx. 60,0000 employees – over 60% of its team in the Philippines today. According to Amit Jagga, SVP and Country Leader of Concentrix Philippines, “Our team in the Philippines operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to support clients and clients in multiple time zones across 4 continents. For a business of this size, the cost of fuel and vehicle usage adds up to the hassle of city traffic and the ensuing loss of productivity in the millions of US dollars. VSoncentrix has implemented alternative working arrangements that are not just telecommuting, but include community hubs and micro-sites that reflect a hybrid approach, and have proven over the past 2 years that staff productivity levels are on par with traditional on-premises office operations. This has allowed us to continue to grow and generate significant revenue for the Philippine economy.
Concentrix is not only the largest private employer in the country with a national presence. It is also a recipient of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) awards as Best Company, Best Employer, Best Foreign Company and Best BPO Contact Center for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021.
“Alternative work arrangements offer unique benefits to our industry and our employees, as we are continuously operating, disaster resilient, global customer focused and technology driven by nature. It is also timely given the current global problem of rising fuel costs which would be financially detrimental to a back-to-office approach, not only for businesses but also for staff themselves. Our customers and their customers around the world have embraced alternative ways of working and alternative ways of customer contact that provide them with a superior experience. If potentially higher tax taxes in the Philippines are imposed on WFH and hybrid work employers like Concentrix, this action will erode our country’s attractiveness to foreign investors seeking partners who have scale and flexibility in operations. and staffing. We sincerely believe that flexible working models are essential to ensure the global competitiveness of the Philippines, represent a progressive way forward and should be strengthened and encouraged,” Amit other mentions.
The positive global trend of flexible working models is cited since 2012, in a report published by Regus titled Flexibility Drives Productivity, citing that “72% of global companies say increased productivity is a direct result of flexible working practices , while 68% of corporate respondents said flexible working has enabled staff to generate increased revenue. This is especially true in emerging economies which seem to have made flexible working a key part of their development.
Therefore, in a conducive environment, exporting businesses will continue to thrive. One factor that will help propel this is to embrace global working trends such as flexible and hybrid working models, which are also being widely adopted by local actors’ global constituents and the clients they serve. This is the way forward according to industry association IBPAP and companies like Concentrix, urging the government to allow alternative working arrangements, whether telecommuting or hybrid, to continue in order to support job growth and industry, decongesting subways and conserving resources, lowering the cost of living and extending revenue generation to the rest of the nation.
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