Work From Home (WFH) is a new concept that is graining ground these days due to the COVID19 Pandemic. WFH is an model where the employee can do their job outside the office – either from home, remotely on the road, or in any remote location.
World experts and the WHO have estimated that COVID19 Vaccine rollout may take 12-24 months. In the absence of a vaccine, economies and the business world is looking at a “new normal” in how we conduct business and continue with work.
Locally, the WFH arrangement has been advocated by the National Government as the “new normal” for business enterprises. WFH allows for social distancing which is the basic guideline to prevent the spread of the SARS-COV2 Virus.
ADVANTAGES of WFH
More and more companies are already adopting the Work From Home arrangement with their employees. Many have found that WFH provides several advantages for both the employers and employees.
Employees work better when they feel better. Less stress brought about by traffic, pollution, and other stresses that come with the daily commute permits workers to be more work efficient.
In the communal workplace setting, there is so much time wasted in useless communication – coffee breaks, irrelevant chit-chat, long and dragging meetings, and the such. These inefficiencies in time is greatly reduced or eliminated in the WFH setting. The decrease in meaningless communication in the workplace creates more time for productive work. Of course, this assumes that the time cleared from such activities will be used for actual productive tasks.
Although WFH arrangements may pose problems on communication compared to a communal office setting, these issues may be abated with the use of technology such as email, phone calls, and video conferencing platforms. WFH arrangements can force businesses to be more concise with their communications – clearer messages can be crafted via email, and terse and orderly video meetings can be held. The challenges of being distant from co-workers can generate better communication lines and modes that yield greater productivities.
Less Time on the Road = More time for Life
WFH arrangements significantly lessen or even eliminate the need for the daily commute. In NCR, the average person spends around 3 hours per day to commute to work and back. In a 5-day workweek, this translates to 15 hours per week, and roughly 2-1/2 days of commute per month! It is estimated that Filipinos are stuck in traffic 16 days per year! These hours can be used on more important things such as time with the family – playing with the kids or spending time with your spouse. These wasted hours can instead be allocated for personal development – physical, emotional, or intellectual development. You can have more time to exercise, learn new skills, read a book, or even for catching up on the latest series on Netflix.
It is also quite usual that WFH arrangements to become flexible in nature. This means that the usual 8am-5pm work time is no longer an absolute requirement. For companies that are results based, this may become the trend.
For example, Design Companies may no longer need to work from 8am to 5pm – for as long as the output requirement is completed by a certain time and date. They can set a certain time in a day to meet for a design meeting, but after this meeting, after they have set their individual and collective goals and tasks, they can all have the flexibility to manage their time as they see fit.
This type of work arrangement provides flexibility for the employees and even the bosses. They can run errands within the day, exercise, cook, play, and do the other things that are necessary in life. This also permits employees to work at their most creative and most productive time.
The time freed up on WFH arrangements allow people to do more in their life – more time to people and things that matter most. WFH permits a more balanced work-life state.
Green Considerations – Cleaner Air
One of the major contributors of air pollution and, generally, global warming is the consumption of fossil fuels. A large component of the consumption of fossil fuels is vehicular traffic and usage. In 2018, LTO reported almost 2.8M registered vehicles in NCR alone. Needless to say, the number of vehicles on the road contributes to air pollution and global warming.
WFH reduces the negative environmental impact of companies associated with travel. As more companies adopts WFH, there will be less demand for vehicles on the roads and this will translate to cleaner air as less fossil fuels are consumed. WFH arrangements, if embraced by more companies, can also contribute to the alleviating of the heavy traffic conditions in the Metro.
WFH can be cheaper! You heard it right! You can have savings if you WFH properly. The possible saving can differ from person to person but the possible sources of savings are the following:
1. Daily Commute
For commuters, you can take compute for your monthly transportation expense by multiplying your daily commute fees by the number of day you work.
For example, if you live in Paranaque our Las Pinas and work in Makati, you approximate travel expenses is around Php 100.00 per day. If you work 5 days a week, you will spend Php 500 per week (Php 100 x 5days = Php 500 per week). There is an average of 4.3 weeks per month, this brings up your monthly transportation expense to Php 2,150.00.
It is much complicated for car users as you have to factor in fuel consumption, fuel prices, toll fees, parking fees, car maintenance fees, and the purchase price of the vehicle.
2. Office Meals and Snacks
Eating out is always expensive compared to eating at home. This is one major advantage of WFH. Usually we will have at least one meal in the office and is augmented by some snacking here and there.
An average meal outside the home is at Php 150. Lets exclude snacks for now.
Lets estimate a meal at home to be Php 50 per person. Thus, you have a Php 100 savings per meal.
In a month, this translates to Php 2,150.00 of savings.
Just from the your daily commute and the single meal in the office comes up to a Php 4,300.00 savings! Your savings could be different, but there could be substantial savings if you WFH.
For companies, savings come in the form of less power and water consumption in the office. Business can also move to smaller office spaces and thus reducing their rent expenses. Smaller office may also mean a reduction in maintenance personnel.
The need for company vehicles to transports employees to meetings and other gatherings may also be reduced, thus capital expense for purchase of new vehicles and operational expense of the maintenance and fuel costs will also be reduced. Less company vehicles will also mean less company drivers.
These things can lower the overall expense of companies.
WFH is the new normal
Amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic, we will see a rise of WFH arrangement. Businesses are already looking in to this. Companies are already exploring WFH. WFH will be the new normal in doing business.
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