January 24, 2018, 9:32 am
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Pinoys embrace co-working

Flexible work space provide Regus said more than half of the Philippines’ workforce do their jobs offsite with a third saying they work from home. 

The latest research commissioned by Regus showed that many workers now work outside their company’s main offices for half a week or more. 

“When asked where they carried out their remote working, only 33 percent said they mostly work from home,” Regus said.

 The survey is part of a globalwide survey by Regus through its annual Great Big Survey (GBS) where respondents were asked about their views on the effects of flexible working on workers, management and businesses, how the world of work has changed and is expected to change, and key enablers for remote working. 

Regus said the respondents were from its global contacts database of more than 2 million business-people worldwide. 

“More than 20,000 business respondents from more than 100 countries were interviewed via an online survey including Europe/US/APAC and the Philippines,” it said.

In the Philippines, the survey tapped over 200 business people. 

The survey provided a snap-shot of the world of work today but Regus said that it showed that remote working is clearly the norm, it is not synonymous with home working --- only a minority work exclusively from home (8 percent). 

“Rather, workers suggest that they work remotely in order to remain productive while travelling to and from meetings within the same city or in other cities (50 percent),” it said.

 The survey also showed that among the most popular locations for remote work, 19 percent opt for business centers. 

Another 13 percent meanwhile say that they usually work abroad when working remotely.

“These results show that today’s workforce is truly mobile. Only a very small proportion of workers are true home-workers spending all their time out of the main office in a home-office. Workers report that they are not looking to replace one fixed office space with another such as the home, but are declaring that they need places to stop off and regain productivity while travelling to and from business meetings in their own, or in other cities,” said Lars Wittig, Regus Philippines country manager.

 “Business people clearly show that they need drop-in locations where they can productively work from a few hours to a full day. Business centers prove a popular choice as they can be found scattered across cities and provide a professional and collected environment that favors concentration, very much the opposite of noisy cafes where it is hard to find focus and privacy,” he added.

Regus’ study appears to jive with property consultant Santos Knight Frank’s (SKF) view about the rise of workplace called “activity-based working.”

“As technology continues to disrupt routines, the workplace is similarly evolving to meet the demand for greater productivity and collaboration in a fast-changing world. Employees are no longer tethered to their desks and the working environment is increasingly becoming an important part of people’s life experience. These changes are driving the emergence of a new workplace concept called Activity-Based Working (ABW), whereby the office environment becomes a reflection of a company’s culture and provides different work settings based on unique needs,” it said. 

SKF said ABW is gaining traction around the world, is increasingly becoming popular in the Philippines. 

“While the traditional office assigns fixed desks to its employees, ABW is a revolutionary form of workplace strategy where technology and work-settings enable people to choose where, when and how they want to work most effectively. These work settings are aligned with pertinent tasks, be they the normal daily set of tasks, confidential and focused work, or collaboration. In each case, the office is made to work for its people, not the other way around,” it said. 

SKF said a research by Australian firm Telsyte suggests that ABW “can increase productivity by 16 percent and consequently translate to better profitability.” 

A recent Knight Frank survey of clients with the ABW setup, ABW “can optimize the use of existing office space through the effective deployment of collaborative areas, which naturally accommodate more people than traditional work environments.” 

“ABW has been seen to increase the measurable benchmarks of productivity and efficiency; however, additional benefits highlighted by early adopters include the promotion of teamwork and interaction across differing employee groups, along with reduction of workplace stress and the general sense of empowerment around choice of place to work,” it said. 

“The ABW revolution has already begun in the Philippines among a number of multinational companies which we helped set up. We predict a greater adoption of the concept next year as firms realize that they need to future-proof their workplace strategy and adjust to improve productivity in a fast-changing world,” said Joey Radovan, SKF vice chairman and head of occupier services and commercial agency.  

“Technology is doing more of our work for us and affords us more time for creative innovation. The workplace, as an enabler, should be an environment that allows this. We no longer just ‘go to an office,’ but rather, we go to a workplace which drives our success,” also said Rick Santos, SKF chairman.
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