If possible, five in 10 Filipinos prefer to keep working from home or a remote work setup even as offices reopen from two years of strict lockdowns, data from JobStreet Philippines showed, as prices of fuel and commodities soar.
With half of Filipino professionals opting to pursue their careers from the comfort of their homes, many are thinking that limited physical interaction could hurt their chances of growth and development in their respective industries.
"Working from home means I’m alone in my room and my interactions with my workmates are only limited to video calls and Messenger," said Paulo Barcos, a virtual assistant who's been working from home for over a year.
Barcos, who traded his job as a barista for a permanent WFH setup, is keen on pursuing the role given the higher pay and flexibility that comes with the job.
"Since, I started working from home, being isolated in my room has given me the chance to concentrate more on my tasks; fewer distractions and interruptions from factors that would usually prevent me from finishing my tasks on time and at a continuous pace," he said.
Barcos' role as a virtual assistant is among the top roles available to Filipinos who want to permanently work from home based on a JobStreet study along with engineers, and business process outsourcing roles.
The good news is that many companies are now adopting output-based metrics in assessing the performance of their employees, particularly for those who can keep on working from home, said JobStreet Philippines country manager Philip Gioca.
"There is continuous progression in terms of career in any work arrangement...Whether it's flexible, whether it's hybrid, careers will progress. It really depends on the contribution of the individual and the need of the company," Gioca told reportr in an interview.
"It's not based on whether you're working from home that 'Just because I don't see you, it means you're not working'. Many of the companies now are shifting to output-based metrics for assessments from seeing things on the actual," he added.
Flexibility is key for Gen Zs, Millennials
Gone are the days when salary is the top motivating factor for workers. For younger millennials and Gen Zs, which now make up half of the country's workforce, flexibility is key to joining and staying in a company according to Gioca.
"You will see a migration of people looking for new jobs and most likely these new jobs are more for a more flexible working arrangement over salary," Gioca said.
Millennials and Gen Z see that growing one's career needs to be balanced with other aspects of life according to Gioca. While older generations breathed office life, Gioca said millennials and Gen Zs want a "job that they will live and at the same time allow them to thrive personally."
It's a period of discernment, he added. After two years cooped up at home, many young people are asking if their current jobs are worth it especially since most of them joined the workforce in the middle of the pandemic.
"Many candidates, currently now employed, are discerning if the current work that they have is worth it. When they ask if it's worth it, it means 'Is it worth my time? Is it worth my effort?'," Gioca said.
"They are trying to realign the values of the company to their personal values. If the answer is no, then they look for another job... Now they see a need to realign values of work, family, flexibility, and leisure," he added.
What about a hybrid setup?
With the older generation or Gen X occupying top management posts, it could be expected that many of them would want employees working in the office -- exactly how spent built their careers.
The key is for companies to find a "sweet spot" so that millennials and Gen Zs get the flexibility they want while the older generations continue with their office life.
In a hybrid work setup, employees are required to work at the office for a number of days and work from their homes for the rest of the workweek.
"When we shifted to work from home setups during the pandemic, we saw that it's the older generations who had a difficult time adjusting... That's why we advocate for hybrid because it allows flexibility where team building and human engagement is possible and also spend days at home where some are more productive," Gioca said.
With rising fuel prices and the rainy season, flexibility is a must for companies that can provide such setups to attract the best talents and keep employees motivated, he added.
"Nowadays, especially for young people, it should be a job that they will live, thrive at, and at the same time align with their personal goals," Gioca said.
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