‘Hybrid’ workplace will be the norm for Pinoy firms, Accenture says

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A ‘hybrid’ workplace will be the new normal for Philippines companies, as the Covid-19 crisis continues to plague the country.

Global technology business process outsourcing company Accenture said this hybrid arrangement — where employees are expected to spend time working from home and time working in the office — is just one the technology trends that companies should be bracing for in light of the massive changes that Covid-19 has brought.

JP Palpallatoc, who is the technology lead for data and AI in the Philippine office of Accenture, said while geopolitical news and trends dominated 2019, the year 2020 brought in Covid-19 which basically “changed everything” on a truly global scale.

A hybrid workplace, Palpallatoc means most people not will be forever working at home, but at the same time, not everybody will be in the office.

“There’s no going back to the old ways” where people are expected to spend their time at the office, Palpallatoc said.

Companies would then need to find the right balance. A hybrid workplace also means work will no longer be location and time-dependent.

The executive said thus, companies will be forced to adapt or be left behind. Palpallatoc likened Covid-19 as a “fast-forward” switch that compelled global companies to radically change.

He said technology, now more than ever, will be at the forefront of the changes. Unlike before where technology plays a mostly supporting roles for businesses, it is now “the star” of the show and without it “companies cannot do business.”

“Technology has become a lifeline,” Palpallatoc said. However, technology is not enough, as companies now need “thought leaders” and “masters of change,” Palpallatoc said.

The executive said before the pandemic, companies that are aggressive with their technology roll-outs outpaced technology laggards by two times. During the pandemic, the trend has significantly changed, and that these tech leaders now outpace their laggard counterparts by five times.

He said from small to medium-sized enterprises or SMEs to larges enterprises, the first step to adapt is to “get started.” This is relevant for the Philippines where more than 90 percent of companies are SMBs.

The key, Palpallatoc said is to choose the right technology for a company’s specific need. “Start small, otherwise you’ll be left behind. Use technology to your advantage. No one size fits all,” Palpallatoc said.

Accenture, meanwhile, said it is currently training thousands of employees along this line of change in the workplace.

Accenture Philippines, which reportedly has more than 50,000 employees in the country, revealed the company’s predictions at the “Accenture Tech Vision 2021,” an annual technology event for the BPO giant. 

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