Let’s say you want to find jobs in Mandaluyong City but don’t have the means to travel there right now. Before the COVID-19 crisis, your options were probably extremely limited and chances are you’d have to give up any openings in that area. But in the Post COVID-19 world, more businesses will likely be open to the idea of a work from home arrangement.
Work from home jobs have been around even before the internet. Unfortunately, even with the advent of the World Wide Web, work from home arrangements tended to be reserved for the extremely privileged or employees that have somehow proven their worth. Still, work-from-home jobs grew throughout the 2000s and the 2010s, with many forward-thinking businesses whole-heartedly adopting telecommuting as a way of life.
With the COVID-19 crisis, though, even the most conservative Filipino-run businesses have had to reconsider their position on work-from-home arrangements. Already, many are starting to realize that the practice not only benefits employees but the business as a whole as well.
Here are some reasons work from home arrangements may soon become the norm for office work, rather than the exception.
1.) You can say goodbye to traffic
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government was already encouraging work from home arrangements due to the negative effects of traffic on the economy. Even the most conservative estimates put the loss to the economy at billions of pesos a month. This is not counting the stress and health effects on commuters and the eventual stress they will exert on the healthcare system in the future.
Considering that it isn’t unusual for Filipinos to spend four hours or more on the road simply to commute to and from work, one can imagine the potential benefits to employee health and happiness by simply taking the commute out of the equation.
2.) You’ll save more money
While there are certainly plenty of ways one can save money on day-to-day expenses, it can often be too much to ask from overworked employees that are already sleep-deprived and tired from a brutal daily commute. Unfortunately, transportation and eating out is often one of the biggest expenses of a Filipino employee, sometimes even surpassing rent and utilities.
By working from home, eating out is discouraged, transportation fees are gone, and there can be a bigger potential for savings. That is, of course, if you refrain from ordering food all the time.
3.) You’ll continue earning through some calamities
The COVID-19 pandemic utterly devastated small businesses that required employees to be physically present. The most resilient jobs were the ones that allowed work from home arrangements. While there are no guarantees in life — or Philippine internet reliability — chances are that having a work from home job will be far less disrupted by a disaster than one that requires you to commute daily.
4.) Better work-life balance
The time that you would have spent on your commute can be used for virtually anything you wish, from getting more sleep, more exercise, or more time with your family. For this reason, people who choose work from home jobs tend to report having a better quality of life compared to when they held a “regular” job.
5.) You’ll be more productive
An Airtasker survey of 1,004 full-time employees, including 505 remote workers, found that remote workers were more productive than their office counterparts. They willingly spent more time working, used fewer sick days, felt far less distracted, and were more productive overall than employees that worked in an office. The caveat is that people who enjoy socialization will enjoy working from an office more. Home-based workers, however, can always use their extra time to proactively socialize with others as well.
Given the forced experiment in work-from-home arrangements that Filipino businesses have had to try to survive the COVID crisis, it’s likely that many will have to at least concede that there are benefits. Jobs that require a commute will still be the norm for the next few years but there will be more flexibility in areas where a physical presence is not strictly necessary. Now that the benefits to both employers and employees will become clear, we’ll likely see a significantly different work landscape in the near future.