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Telecommuting becomes work standard

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As the Philippines awaits a cure for Covid-19, telecommuting, once an unfamiliar work arrangement has now become a standard practice — with safety measures set in place by the government in many organizations in the country as is also the case globally. Remote working has thus become the new normal in the country, to be strengthened by a recent bill filed in Congress to further support the existing telecommuting law, according to a report by Manila Times.

Markus Nisula, managing director of KONE Philippines, discussed with The Manila Times the pros and cons of the bill that proposes mandatory work-from-home (WFH) arrangements to be offered to employees who fulfil specific criteria to be eligible for WFH deployment.
The Manila Times (TMT): How should business and industry cope as we move to focus on livelihoods beyond the pandemic?

Markus Nisula (MNisula): Let us look at the present situation this way. The pandemic has recalibrated everything: work, life and play. With the coronavirus crisis not abating anytime soon, telecommuting is still seen to be the norm across the country. Strict physical distancing measures in public transportation would continue to be enforced in a bid to contain the virus as the focus in priority shifts toward the control of people flow in public places.

With many organizations forced to fast track their digital transformation agenda to boost their work from home capabilities, work today has been made more fluid and interconnected. However, as we progressively adapt to new working models and integrated technologies to support remote working, working from home may just be a temporary solution to tide [us] over the pandemic.

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The physical work environment will continue to play an irreplaceable role in facilitating face-to-face interactions that are central to building lasting relationships and fostering deep collaboration. While more employees may have the option to work from home on a semi-regular basis in the near future, the potential decline in working from the office would pose as a chance to rethink the concept of future offices and people flow as the number of workers commuting into the city changes as well.


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