Sunday, May 26, 2024

As workers return to office, BPO firm expands wellness program

A digital services outsourcing company has expanded its wellness program, helping employees to be more focused at work as thousands return to the office after years of Covid-19 lockdowns. 

TaskUs said it now offers daycare at its offices in the Ortigas business district and Lipa City in Batangas, allowing employees with children, especially single parents, become more engaged at work.

Staffed by qualified professionals, the daycare facilities can take care of eight children in its Ortigas location and five in Lipa, company officials said during a media tour of both sites held last week.

Besides daycare, the company’s two new offices each has a gym, a shower room, and “quiet” spaces for yoga and meditation sessions to help staff stay healthy, physically and mentally. 

To look after the needs of the employees further, the company has also hired life coaches and other trained professionals to help workers beset by anxiety and mental health issues.

Immediately after the May 9 elections, a marked increase of Filipino employees struggling with anxiety was observed, an official said. 

As a result, counseling sessions went up from 15 a day to 50 in the aftermath of the polls, said Vina Paglicawan, a director of the company’s Wellness and Resiliency Department, which supports more than 25,000 employees across Asia.

Counseling sessions also covered members of the employees’ families, she said, adding that these were also beneficial during the restrictive lockdowns imposed in light of the pandemic. 

Since employees and their family members benefitted significantly from the sessions before and during the Covid-19 crisis, the program ranked high in the company’s in-house employee satisfaction survey, Paglicawan said. 

In 2021, 78% of TaskUs employees who participated in the survey rated the program 9 or 10, with 10 being the highest. These high scores, in turn, “enable the company to drive real business impact,” TaskUs said in a report.

“We believe it drives improved attendance as our teammates show up on time and excited to work. We believe happy employees deliver better results and higher retention.”

The Wellness and Resiliency Department, established five years ago, is part of the company’s core value of putting its employees first, according to Bryce Maddock, TaskUs chief executive officer and co-founder. 

“The reason we make these investments is because it’s the right thing to do from the ethical perspective,” Maddock said during a half-hour media media briefing held at the company’s office in Lipa.

“We want to build a company that cares for our frontline teammates and helps them to grow. Employees who burn out don’t come back to work.” 

To further encourage workplace engagement among employees, its two new offices were designed with themes “meant to inspire creativity, engagement, and wellbeing,” the company said in a statement. “…[h]appy and resilient employees are more agile, flexible, and focused.”

“Phoenix,” the theme of TaskUs’ site in Ortigas, has floors that “are designed with augmented reality-inspired elements,” the company said. The same office has sleeping pods, gaming and multimedia space, massage chairs, an in-house clinic, and a psychologist’s office.

Meanwhile, the company’s site in Batangas carries the theme “Atlantis” and “is inspired by an underwater paradise, reflective of the province’s beaches, coves, and rich marine biodiversity,” the company said. 

Famous for being a tourist spot, the province of Batangas is also home to fresh talent from 13 major universities and 12 colleges — six of which are located within a 10-kilometer radius of Atlantis.

Despite being in a non-metro location, it can be easily accessed by public transportation as the office is located near the city’s bus terminal and international port.

“At TaskUs we bring jobs to the people, we do not expect people to spend hours commuting to us,” Maddock said in a statement.

“Filipinos are very family oriented and this is why we build sites outside metropolitan areas. We want our Teammates to be closer to their families and their hometowns.” 

Just like its Ortigas site, the company’s Batangas facility has similar amenities such as a recreational area, pantry, and a fully equipped gym. 

The unveiling of TaskUs’s two new offices also indicate that the company is preparing for most of its employees to return to work, Maddock said.

Although “a small portion” of its employees will continue to work from home even after the Covid-19 crisis, the company is going to bring most of its frontline teammates back to the office, he added. 

“We built a culture that revolves around coming to an office and experiencing the Instagrammable themes of these spaces,” the TaskUs CEO said.

“We understand that working together face to face comes with the stresses of the commute and the inconveniences of working at an office but ultimately, we think it’s the best approach to work in most cases.” 

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