As road gridlock shows no sign of easing, PH firms urged to turn to telecommuting
Filipino firms are being urged to adopt work-from-anywhere, or telecommuting, methods to improve productivity and save costs as road gridlocks, especially in Metro Manila, were likely to remain unsolved.
In a recently published study, consultancy firm P&A Grant Thornton said recent laws allowing and promoting work from outside the confines of offices should be embraced by Philippine businesses in addition to multinationals which have been implementing telecommuting for time already.
“Many workers welcome this development as it eliminates travel time and costs, which has significantly increased due to the worsening traffic conditions in major cities in the country,” the firm’s chair and CEO Maria Victoria Espano said in a statement.
She said the law makes telecommuting subject to the discretion of the employer, who may offer such a program to employees “on a voluntary basis and upon such terms and conditions as they may mutually agree upon.”
The P&A Grant Thornton chief cited some reasons that telecommuting could have a positive impact on Philippine businesses and the Filipino workforce.
Telecommuting arrangements will allow employers to attract and retain premier talent, reduce overhead expenses, and increase productivity.
“For many individuals, the travel time between the workplace and home is becoming a major consideration whether to apply for employment with a company,” she said. “I have increasingly heard comments from some executives that they have actually crossed out job opportunities that will require more than an hour’s commute.”
Espano said that, by offering a work from home arrangement, employers may be able to entice quality candidates to join them. On the other hand, for existing employees, eliminating the daily commute will keep them happy enough to stay with an employer for the long term. It allows workers greater control over their work hours and work location.
“Working from home can also be more productive, as employees do not have the distractions or hectic pace of an office environment,” she said.
At the same time, telecommuting saves employers money in office expenses, such as office supplies, furniture, equipment, coffee and janitorial services. For employees, telecommuting allows people to save on expenses such as fuel, parking fees, vehicle maintenance, public transport fare, dining out and clothing purchases.
Before adopting this business model, however, an employer must first assess whether a telecommuting arrangement is suitable for its operations.
“If the company deals with numerous customers who require face-to-face interaction, telecommuting may not work, unless it has a good number of client-facing employees which will allow rotation of assignments,” Espano said.
“The work performed by employees and current manpower resources should also be reviewed,” she added. “A company that only has a single employee acting as cashier or receptionist would have difficulty allowing said employee the chance to work from home. Likewise, workers in the factory or other employee activities that require physical supervision will, definitely, not be able to apply for telecommuting arrangements.”/tsb