Tech giant Lenovo has released a study revealing that smarter technologies are now fueling remote working as extended quarantines push employees and businesses to expand work-from-home (WFH) set-ups.
Lenovo said new research showed most employees (87%) feel at least somewhat ready to make the shift to WFH if required and that the majority (77%) expect companies to be more accepting of WFH policies after the pandemic passes.
Lenovo, in the same study, added that the Philippines is joining the worldwide trend of encouraging people to work from home wherever feasible to intensify physical distancing.
“Our survey suggests that the employee experience was already changing before the pandemic hit. For example, in the past 15 years, the number of those regularly working from home has grown 159% in the US and the same increase is happening in other markets,” said Michael Ngan, Lenovo Philippines president and GM.
“While our current situation is extraordinary, we are seeing a real willingness from workers to adapt and adopt flexible work arrangements. This confirms that corporate technology investments are paying off, as most people now feel productive at home and believe that the workforce will move more in this direction once the crisis has passed.”
The Lenovo study, which looked at employee attitudes towards WFH in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, and the US, found that a majority of employees (87%) felt at least somewhat ready to make the shift to WFH when required.
Most had already been either encouraged (46%) or required (26%) to WFH as part of Covid-19 mitigation measures. Furthermore, 77% expect that companies will either encourage or at least be more open to letting staff work remotely in the future.
Even when the quarantine is lifted, the Philippine government is expecting reduced economic activity as a result of the public’s hesitation to engage. In addition, a pro-work-from-home stance has already been raised as a solution to traffic woes, particularly in the capital region of Metro Manila.
The Telecommuting Act (R.A. 11165) was signed into law to allow employees to conduct work at home or remotely outside the workplace. The move to telecommuting is also a welcome development to the nation’s rising gig economy which thrives on hiring employees on a flexible and freelance setup through online platforms.
The Philippines currently ranks sixth in the world and is the fastest-growing market for the gig industry, revealing a 35% year-over-year growth in freelance earnings as reported in financial services company Payoneer’s 2019 Global Gig-Economy Index.
With the freedom to work anywhere, flexible schedules, the opportunity to prioritize work according to personal schedules, plus the ongoing pandemic, the gig economy in the Philippines is expected to see tremendous growth this year. All these reiterate the need for companies to invest in smarter mobile technologies designed to bolster employee productivity at home or outside the office.
Worldwide, the rapid adoption of WFH policies has been made possible by the increasing sophistication and affordability of smart mobile technology, which has enabled many employees to work when away from their desk.
Changing workforce demographics play a part too. The Millennials and Generation Z employees who make up nearly 60% of the workforce today grew up with video on demand, networked video games, and video communication platforms. These digital natives are driving the development and adoption of technology for remote working and collaboration.
“At a time when all companies need to navigate uncertainty and keep their business running, technology enables them to keep moving forward. Companies need to adjust now and ensure their employees have the video tools, technology, and training required to succeed today and in a future where more remote working may be the norm,” Ngan added.