MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – The BPO Party-List strongly appealed to government to reconsider work from home (WFH) arrangements for the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector in response to the government’s order for the 90 percent of its workforce to go back to work on site effective March 31, 2022.
In a statement signed by BPO Partylist president Michael Cubos, on behalf of the IT-BPM sector, specifically pleads for a six-month extension of the remote WFH arrangement in working on-site and to consider allowing a hybrid WFH and work on site working arrangement for the IT-BPM companies in the economic zone without any adverse effect to their tax-exempt incentives.
“The IT-BPM companies do not want a workforce that did not fully choose to be in the office and is only pressured to do so because of a government directive that is insensitive and inconsiderate,” the statement reads.
The statement further noted that WFH arrangement emerged as a government policy to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, a solution to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection in the workplace, but after more than two years into this global health crisis, WFH has become a way of life that is unsurprisingly favored by many workers because of its advantages.
According to a 2021 State of Remote Work Report by video conferencing company Owl Labs, out of the 2,5050 full-time remote workers surveyed, 90 percent claimed to be as productive or more productive working remotely compared to when they toiled in the office.
Another 74 percent said that after the pandemic, working from home is better for their mental health, and 84 percent reported that working remotely after the pandemic would make them happier. Several other studies have corroborated this result, the report said.
The pandemic has revolutionized the workplace and refusal to adapt to the evolving work practices will only result to dissatisfied workers, low productivity and eventual resignation.
The statement also reminded the government of the IT-BPM sector’s contribution for the country’s economy, with P1.4 Trillion or $28B in revenues for 2021, which makes for 11-12 percent in annual GDP and employing 1.4 million directly and has twice multiplier or 2.6 million people working to support the industry, excluding those at least two million online freelancers working from home.
“We hope to see the day that WFH work practice would no longer be a prerogative of the government, but a choice that any business can take,” Cubos said.