How Distributed Teams in the Philippines are Affecting Workspaces
11/11/2020 | By Marella Gimenez
Remote work arrangements in the Philippines have become the adaptable new norm for the workforce, especially with the country as a top outsourcing destination. A majority of firms have resorted to flexible work schedules so a portion of their staff can continue to work from home while others return to the workspace. Office spaces have also evolved within this time, adapting their layouts to accommodate social distancing while strictly monitoring the number of people in the space.
A flexible work arrangement seems to be the only way to navigate working through the pandemic with businesses and organizations doing everything they can to transform their operations and spaces. However, with most still doing remote work while others make the slow transition back to the office, what does this mean for workspaces and the dynamics of collaboration?
Is there still a need for the workspace?
The workspace is a powerful tool in business that fosters engagement, encourages collaboration, and drives productivity. As employees make the return to the office, the new working environment will now be filled with signals on maintaining safe distances and de-densifying the spaces. This will definitely have an effect on the dynamics of teamwork and the management of one’s team while everyone re-navigates their understanding of personal space.
Teams and coworkers now have to be more comfortable and adjust to the larger degree of interpersonal space one has to provide. This also pushes for distributed teams to implement creative solutions that still foster collaboration despite the separation between those working from home and in the office. Close and face-to-face interaction will be significantly lessened but with modern digital innovations, other forms and types of communication between parties has never been more readily available than today.
Although there have been work-arounds with teamwork and communication despite working as a distributed team, the vast majority of office workers are said to want to return to the office at least once a week. In the Philippines, employees prefer to work near home rather than from home, giving them a safe space to get work done and having distinguishable, healthy boundaries with their home life.
Work near home
As the first onset of the pandemic left offices and workspaces empty, with companies quickly adapting through a digitally-enabled environment that allow their workers to work from anywhere. But with more public safety measures and office changes in place, employees are slowly itching to gradually come back to the workspace. The coworking space sector has also quietly expanded during this time despite the unavoidable business closures that swamped the first half of the lockdown. This shows the need for employees to have a safe space where they can maximize productivity and exchange ideas.
Remote work has sparked a new trend in the country after being cooped up inside for a long period of time, with the preference of working nearer to home instead. Flexible workspaces have been filling the void as firms also try to decentralize from their main headquarters, putting an emphasis on the need for flexibility and convenience during these times. Coworking hubs perfectly fit the need for this, providing a stable work environment for remote workers that do not completely isolate them from others.
Evolving needs of an agile workforce
Given the lack of suitable space at home and the daily struggles remote workers encounter, internet connection being the biggest issue among them, both traditional and non-traditional workspaces don’t stay empty for long. As the Philippines slowly start to lessen quarantine restrictions during the general community quarantine, people won’t be rushing back to business hubs but instead will look for alternatives within their own city. Flexible work arrangements that have been implemented by businesses have allowed workers to work in other types of workspaces despite everyone working independently. This simply shows that the needs of employees have evolved without completely striking out the need for an office space, which helps workers get in the right mindset for work that fuels the well-oiled functionality of a team.