Work From Home (WFH): An Emerging Trend for Modern Professionals
I personally admire how our team at PyxPay, the company I work for, is able to function as a well-oiled engine despite distance and time difference. Our staff in the Philippines is composed of few office-based personnel and a majority of technical professionals who work at their respective home offices. The need to report and huddle seasonally brings the team together physically, but the coordination is done almost every hour or everyday without a miss. Technology indeed has worked its magic in bringing a team together, particularly in global companies such as ours.
The primary advantage of having an option to report to work or complete tasks at the home office is the capability to truly save time and resources. In the Philippines, reporting for work from the province or even nearby cities to the central business districts in Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati and Taguig, eats up several hours of travel due to heavy traffic. Rush hour usually starts and ends from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for reporting to working and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in leaving for work.
Mode of public transportation in the Philippines includes city buses and provincial buses plying major metropolitan thoroughfares, AUVs or vans that travel on minor thoroughfares and specific locations, trains and railways, and taxi cabs. Though public transport options abound, the system of transportation in Metro Manila and the way the city was planned is unable to efficiently support the growing influx of urban workers. The commuting public is still subject to the horrendous traffic and merciless waiting time in rails. Most professionals also bring their own private cars that add up to the volume of vehicles on the road. Cars are also offered in very affordable terms in the Philippines so it has become easier to get a car these days.
Saving time in working from home means being able to forego the long hours of queuing and braving daily traffic. For instance, travel time takes up around 2 hours going from Quezon City to Makati, and another 2-3 hours coming from Makati to Quezon City. That is around four hours devoted to travel and traffic. Four hours daily is 84 hours a month on a 21-day working calendar. That is already 3 an a half days lost in a month; 42 days or one and half month lost in a year! These are just the hours lost in traffic, not including preparation time. Let us say that 2 hours daily are allotted to prepare to work that will include snoozing the alarm, ironing work clothes, preparing breakfast for family/self, bathing and other morning rituals. This gives us:
The time saved is indeed very significant when looked at from a longer time-range. The daily hours saved on travel can be spent on wellness or keeping fit, and a few more hours in keeping sane with hobbies. This time can also be well spent to keep the home and do other meaningful activities. The personnel working from home can also work at their own pace, which opens windows for more creativity, with much energy and productivity away from the tiredness caused by worsening trip conditions.
Saving resources is another factor that the home office can achieve. Consider every cost component that regular office work entails such as business clothing, food expenses, transportation costs or even rental to be able to live near the work place. Working from home has lower maintenance costs and allows the personnel to divert income to more meaningful investments. The company can also get more from this type of work set up, as it is able to provide the compensation that is able to yield higher premium for the team members.
The only good investment needed for a home office is a reliable and uninterrupted Internet connection that will ensure clear communication with the home base. For the likes of PyxPay that is in the I.T. industry, the delegation of tasks are completed using secure project management tools that is able to track and monitor the progress of tasks assigned to the different workforce off shore. The I.T. industry is unique that it entails requirements that do not require face-to-face interaction. As it is a technical output-based industry, the performance metrics can be easily created in order to still apply fair evaluation among the workforce.
In 2015, I can foresee more small and medium-scale I.T. industries venturing into home office set-ups or work from home mode. The Philippines is a candidate to this emerging office trend, as very few means have been completed to make commuting and traveling situations better for its urban workers.