Hello beelievers, your Hive is back and welcoming 2019 from home!
As in, work-from-home, coinciding with fresh off-the-presses news for those who want to be just like us!
RA 11165 or An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector encourages employers to adopt telecommuting – a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies. (Villanueva, 2019), now at your service!
LAWyer Up ‘Cause You’re Taking Everything Home
Verbatim: Press Release via http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0110_villanueva2.asp
Senator Joel Villanueva welcomed on Thursday the signing into law of his bill which allows employees in the private sector to telecommute or work-from-home.
While the adoption of the work-from-home scheme will remain as employers’ prerogative based on a mutual agreement between the employer and the employee, Villanueva stressed that the telecommuting program should not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law including that for health and safety of workers, schedule and workloads, work hours and social security.
“We thank the President for supporting our bill that will promote our workers’ right to work-life balance and flexible work arrangement,” Villanueva, principal author and sponsor of the law, said.
Equal Pay, Leave Benefits, and Promotions for Work-From-Home Employees
The senator, who is also the chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, added that the law in itself has enough safeguards to ensure that the rights of home-based workers are protected by giving them equal pay, leave benefits and promotion as their counterparts in the office.
Aside from promoting work-life balance, the law also targets to address traffic congestion and its tremendous effect on the country’s economy.
Role of DOLE in Work-from-Home Arrangements
Under the law, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is expected to come up with guidelines that will ensure the “fair treatment” provision of the measure such as the:
- Rate of pay, including overtime and night shift differential, and other similar monetary benefits not lower than those provided in applicable laws, and collective bargaining agreements;
- Right to rest periods, regular holidays, and special non-working days;
- Equivalent workload and performance standards as those of comparable workers at the employer’s premises;
- Access to training and career development opportunities as those of comparable workers at the employer’s premises, and be subject to the same appraisal policies covering these workers;
- Appropriate training on the technical equipment at their disposal, and the characteristics and conditions of telecommuting; and
- Collective rights as the workers at the employer’s premises, and shall not be barred from communicating with workers’ representatives.
Pilot Program in Select Industries for Work-From-Home Arrangements
The Telecommuting law further provides for the establishment of a telecommuting pilot program in select industries for a period of not more than three years to enable DOLE to determine the advantages and disadvantages of a telecommuting program in the Philippines.
“We greatly extend our gratitude to our counterpart in the House and our fellow colleagues who supported our well-meaning advocacy to produce a cohesive and strong policy that gives our workers meaningful work-life balance and an option to work under a flexible work arrangement,” Villanueva said.
“With this recently signed law, we can now have a stable and consistent legal framework that can provide an enabling environment to encourage participation and enforce compliance among enterprises, big or small. This is indeed a fitting New Year’s welcome for our dedicated Filipino workers” the senator added.
Work from Home Companies and Job Sites
A quick search online lists at least 100 companies that let people work-from-home including Amazon and Apple.
Why Employers Should Allow Work-From-Home
Here are great reasons for employers to allow work-from-home arrangements: (Shehori, 2017) (Russell, 2013)
- Expanded Talent Pool – The quality of hires increases when jobs open up to the prospect of working from home including talent acquisition for people with disabilities.
- Save on costs from parking and office spaces.
- Travel costs will no longer factor into an employees’ take-home pay. Additionally, no more commuting woes.
- Employees who are allowed to work-from-home use their own laptop, phones etc.
- Save on relocation cost if you need to relocate high-value talents to where your physical office space is located.
- Dramatically lower resignations from high-value employees who need to spend more time with family or need to meet personal obligations urgently.
- Increased Productivity – A solid example would be travel website Ctrip who gave their employees a chance to work from home for 9 months. The result? 13.5% more calls per shift, equivalent to an extra day’s work of productivity per employee per week. Morale was high and Ctrip saved as much as Php-99,142.00 (USD1,900) per person, per month, on office furniture, overhead/utilities, and parking.
- Employees allowed to work-from-home will take fewer sick days because they won’t be exposed to sick colleagues at work (physical office).
- Less absenteeism.
- Happy and content employees are the best workers an employer can have.
Work from Home Industries
Industries that offer legitimate work-from-home careers include Virtual Call Centers; Freelance Writing and Editing; Transcription; Online Data Entry; Insurance as in financial advisers, underwriters, appraisers, case managers, project managers; Medical as in medical transcription, coding, virtual nursing, pharmacy assistant; Online Education as in tutors and instructors; Search Engine Evaluation; Financial, Accounting, and Bookkeeping; Research; Art and Design; and, Social Media. (Brunelli, 2018)
There’s also client servicing, business analysis, app and web development, and systems engineering that you can do from home.
Making the Transition from Office to Home
It may be jarring to most when transitioning from office to home so you might want to read up on our blog about co-working spaces here https://www.hivemanila.com/business-strategy/the-modern-workplace/ where you can find perfectly comfortable and ideal locations when you feel like going out occasionally to break the monotony of working from home.