Why Philippine Workers Should Be Working From Home

Legislation can be helpful in a city as congested as Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. These cities have a population of millions who get out every day to go to work. Telecommuting provides a cost-effective alternative and a solution to the time spent on the road for Philippine workers.

According to a survey by the GPS-based navigation app, Waze, Manila has the worst traffic congestion in the world. The survey suggests that Filipino workers spend more hours in terrible commuting conditions rather than being productive at work.

While helping to increase the productivity of the workforce, telecommuting also helps to boost the morale of employees. A more flexible job schedule results in a happier workplace, both physically and mentally. You not only spend more productive time working in a flexible job arrangement but can also have more time with family or friends.

philippines workers
Photo credit: callcenter-salespro.com

Overview Of The Proposed Law

House Bill 7402 seeks to enable private-sector employees to return to “telecommuting. “ This is also a flexible working arrangement where the employee may work in an alternative workplace using telecommunications or computer technologies.

The new legislation offers companies the right to provide telecommuting services to their workers. They are subject to mutually agreed terms and conditions between them.

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To that end, the terms and conditions of the telecommuting system will not be less than the minimum labor requirements set down by statute, and telecommuting workers will be compensated in the same manner as equivalent employees working in the workplace.

This includes salaries, insurance compensation, and other monetary benefits, rest times and holidays, and workload.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be charged with developing and implementing a pilot “homework” system in select sectors, which would run for a duration not exceeding three years.  At the conclusion of the plan implementation, DOLE will then submit a report to Congress on its findings.

Reasons Why Filipinos Should Work At Home

Less Time Spent Traveling

Since telecommuting is activated by internet-based networks and mobile-oriented thought, it renders it insignificant or unnecessary for commuting or traveling to a central workplace. Mobility in high-urban areas such as Metro Manila has been a problem for the commuters themselves.

The traffic situation is getting worse and its economic effect is, to say the least, overwhelming. According to the Japan International Coordination Agency (JICA), Metro Manila’s deteriorating traffic costs P3.5 billion in lost opportunities per day in 2017.

Increased Productivity

Telecommuting arrangements are also the subject of many studies. These studies aim to discover its advantages and its contribution to the productivity of employees. Research by the University of Stanford found that when allowed to operate from home, call center workers significantly improved their productivity by 13 percent.

One report from Austin’s University of Texas found telecommuters were working five to seven hours more than their colleagues in the workplace.

The legislation opens the doors for businesses to accept telecommuting’s advantages in terms of lowering payroll costs, which involves cutting back-office space rentals and lowering running costs such as power and water.

It Is Their Right To Work At Home

The Senate Labor Committee investigated best practices in telecommuting to ensure that more workers would embrace telecommuting at work. Telecommuting is a prerogative for workers.

This would be at the discretion of the company to give its employees the telecommuting service based on a shared agreement. The telecommuting service is free. They also discussed many reasons why companies opt for telecommuting.

But they can not make this compulsory because many companies are positioned differently. The bill does, however, guarantee that any telecommuting system will not be less than the minimum labor requirements set down by law.

Philippine workers

Conclusion

The legislation does not define what industries are protected by the Telecommuting Act. Moreover, the DOLE has the task of defining those industries in the implementing rules it is expected to issue.

All employers, including hiring contractors and subcontractors, could be impacted by the new law. All responsible agencies should be careful when introducing a telecommuting system in the workplace. This is to ensure compliance with the new law and the general labor law.

Click here to know more about home-based jobs for Philippine workers.

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