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Work from home

The Department of Health last week encouraged employers to opt for work-from-home (WFH) setup or other alternative tasking arrangements that would reduce the opportunities for the spread of the coronavirus.

The DOH said such work setup will eliminate close contact among employees and other people interacting with an establishment. This is going to be “critical especially during this period of exponential increase” in COVID-19 cases.

Since the pandemic hit in early 2020, private companies and government offices have adopted various arrangements and even physical alterations in offices to restrict contact among employees and between staff and clients. Others have opted for a hybrid work setup, or a mix of on-site and WFH arrangements.

By reimplementing or extending the WFH setup during this critical surge will help stem the chains of transmission, employers can do their share in breaking the chains of transmission that are currently threatening to undo all the achievements of the previous years and fast track the return to recovery and a chance a normality.

Investing in a hybrid work environment is among the three key strategies hat businesses must prioritize to ensure future growth, market researcher Euromonitor International said in its latest report “Understanding Corporate Trends: Voice of the Industry 2021.”

A country survey by headhunting and recruitment agency Robert Walters Philippines also found employees qualified for middle-to-senior level management positions were likely to turn down job offers that required them to work full time in the office.

These developing trends and the new threat of Omicron is making WFH arrangements an integral part of any business plan as we look forward to a post-pandemic world.

If WFH arrangements are not feasible, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Trade and Industry and the DOH reminded public and private sector employers to firmly enforce the minimum public health standards that include hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing. They also emphasized vaccination and improving ventilation in offices and shops.

Everyone has to do their share and make the appropriate adjustments if we are to surmount the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers, as well as employees have to find safer ways of working together while being productive and profitable at the same time. The WFH arrangement could be a part of a safer and happier future if stakeholders can make it work.*

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