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Work From Home Setup is Not For Everyone

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The world is changing. Those who can quickly adapt to change are those who grow with time.

 

The Covid19 pandemic has already started changing the way how companies run their respective businesses. Companies must be able to strike a balance between operational cost and the health and safety of their employees. Work-from-home set up or working remotely has been a discussion from companies that we have engaged with during the lockdown. While there are benefits that work-from-home and working remotely bring to the company, these options are not applicable to all types of industries.

It is important to note that each company has a unique response to this pandemic depending on several considerations such as strict Service Level Agreements, operational costs, and employee productivity to name a few. For most companies, the work-from-home set up has been part of business continuity plans. As we move into the new normal, companies are asking what the set-up of businesses will be moving forward. There are both advantages and disadvantages of working from home and working in the office. Companies should consider all angles and adjust their projections accordingly as they step into the new normal. 

Work-from-home Setup:

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Traditional Office Setup:

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Colliers View

Companies should revisit their existing strategies before deciding on what to do with their current workspaces. Maintaining social distancing is important; however, not all business models can modify their employee schedule or do shifting. Companies also need to review their real estate requirements in adopting business continuity strategies. They must be able to accelerate the use of technology to enhance communication and productivity, follow social distancing, and employ health and safety procedures while maintaining best practices before this pandemic happened.

A split-office strategy or Flex and Core™ real estate strategy may provide a solution. In the blog Contagion threat: Making a case for Flex and Core™ which was written by our Executive Director of Occupier Services in Singapore Rick Thomas, the strategy is a combination of traditional office space and flexible workspace. This will help companies manage uncertainty in matching their head count with their office space needs, scaling up or down depending on their business objectives. Having teams work in separate business locations allows companies to shield themselves from segregation and containment in the event of another outbreak. It will also address data/connectivity issues stemming from a work-from-home set up. This strategy may be costly at first, but it will be beneficial in the long run for their employees’ health and well-being as well as the company’s profitability.

Even in this pandemic, some BPO/KPO companies were able to secure new accounts and even maintained an 80%-100% productivity. Although there are industries who are looking at the possibility of rightsizing their physical office, that is not the case for all. For most companies here in Cebu, a physical office is still needed to make businesses work especially with BPO/KPO companies that need to comply strict with Service Level Agreements. This includes superior IT/connectivity bandwidth requirements that a Wi-Fi connection at home cannot serve. Traditional companies need a formal venue for client visits, meetings, and negotiations. English as Second Language (ESL) schools that are offering offline services need space to hold classes for their students. These are challenges that can only a physical office can resolve. Having a strategy that allows companies to take advantage of the benefits that work-from-home and traditional office set up give will be a crucial factor to successfully navigate a volatile business environment in the new normal.


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Kathlyn Atillo

Assistant Manager

Office Services

Cebu

Kathlyn works with  Office Services handling both Tenant and Landlord Representation in Cebu. She joined Colliers as an Administrative Assistant in one of the Real Estate Management Services (REMS) project in December 2013 and was transferred after few months to Cebu Head Office Administrative Assistant to REMS Cebu.

She was then moved to Office Services as Leasing Officer on April 2016 to strengthen the department in Cebu. As Leasing Officer, she has been involved in prospecting and preparing space options for clients and prospects, schedule site viewings, engaging in contract negotiations, and contract execution.

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