Remote Work
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Here’s Why Remote Work is the Future of Office Productivity

For the most part, the office-based setup is the dominant business model used across the Philippines. However, with the new restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies in the Philippines—and around the world—had to grapple with the almost overnight shift to remote work.

This shift has a cascading and lasting effect not only on business operations, but also on the habits and expectations of employees. For many workers, the work-from-home (WFH) setup had a positive effect on their daily schedules, such as having more time to spend with their families and not commuting to and from work.

That said, as lockdown restrictions ease and offices slowly open, employers must face these changes in employee mindset. One of their main concerns is that shifting to a WFH or hybrid work setup will reduce productivity among employees. After all, without somebody watching workers, how can management ensure that they are doing the work?

Corporate managers can set these worries aside because data gathered from numerous studies show that workers can be more productive in a remote setup. With a reformed business outlook and proper investment in digital infrastructure, companies will not only thrive with a WFH model but can also increase productivity levels. To elaborate further, take a look at the questions below.

What Do the Numbers Say?

Reduced productivity is one of the primary concerns that employers have with a WFH setup. However, multiple studies show that working remotely may actually cause improvements to worker productivity.

In a two-year study conducted on Fortune 500 companies, results show that most respondents reported stable or increased productivity levels after they started working from home. The study was conducted by Great Place to Work, an authority on company culture, from March to August each year in 2019 and 2020 and had 800,000 respondents. Findings showed that employee productivity shot to 87% from 74% of the previous year.

Smaller studies corroborate these results. In FlexJob’s survey of 5,500 professionals, 66% of them reported becoming more productive when they are not working in the office. In another survey conducted by CoSo, a reputable cloud solution provider, 77% of respondents reported greater productivity and are 52% less likely to take time off. 

The numbers speak for themselves. It is clear that employees can perform their tasks efficiently without a constant watching eye, and with the right tools, become more productive in their contributions to the company.

How Can the Work-from-Home Setup Contribute to Productivity?

Employees cite a wide range of factors when asked why they feel more productive with a WFH setup. One of the most common reasons is that it gives them more flexibility in managing their time. Workers can accomplish their jobs on time while balancing them with other daily tasks, like taking care of the kids or taking a quick trip out of the house to run errands.

The second most common reason is convenience. Respondents from the Great Place to Work study, for example, explained that the time saved from commuting and lengthy meetings gave them more time to focus more on their assigned tasks. The commuting experience in the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, is notoriously long. With the time and energy saved from commuting, workers can redirect these resources to important tasks instead.

How Can the Remote Work Model Help Employers?

As convenient as working remotely is for workers, employers also have a lot to gain from employing a WFH or hybrid business model. Consider the success story from a Chinese travel agency called CTrip.

In 2013, CTrip decided to conduct an experiment. They wanted to find out if working remotely can boost the productivity of their 16,000 employees. The experiment’s results revealed that call center employees who volunteered for the study displayed a 13% increase in performance levels. Due to the study’s success, CTrip decided to offer the WFH option to those who wanted it, which over half of their employees availed. The company reported a 22% increase in productivity afterward, almost doubling what the initial experiment showed. Indeed, employers have a lot to gain by opening up to remote work.

Aside from boosting productivity levels, companies can also attract more reliable employees by offering remote working options. This is especially useful in the case of the Philippines where commuting is difficult. Employers are then able to have their pick of top talents and increase employee retention at the same time. In this manner, employee turnovers are minimized, and management can focus on other, more profitable company areas like product development and customer service.

Conclusion: Remote Work is Here to Stay

Companies in the Philippines have a lot of obstacles to conquer before adapting a WFH setup. Inconsistent Internet connection, absence of digital infrastructure, and lack of employee online savviness are only some of the things employers need to address.

However, it becomes apparent that the WFH setup will not be going away soon. Indeed, a hybrid model that mixes on-site and remote working will arguably become the standard in years to come. Addressing these obstacles today will become an investment not only for addressing short-term problems but also for building towards long-term changes and improvements. Reconsidering the modern remote work business model is vital to leading companies to the future.



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