Philippine companies are preparing to shift to more flexible working arrangements as the pandemic rages, a survey has found.

By 2023, employers anticipate that the proportion of full-time employees working from home will be more than 10 times higher than it was back in 2017 (34% vs 3%), according to a Willis Towers Watson survey.

“This practice will most likely continue as part of the new normal as companies realize that flexible work arrangements play a significant role in employee productivity and engagement,” said Patrick Marquina, head of talents and rewards for the Philippines at Willis Towers Watson.

Forty-seven companies in the Philippines joined the Flexible Work and Rewards Survey conducted between October and November last year.

The survey found that 95% of the respondents listed worker security concerns as one of the major reasons for providing alternative work modes, with “flextime” as the most typical form, last year (35%).

Only one in seven companies think their current work design and work levelling processes support creating an adaptable and agile workforce despite high levels of remote working expected in the future.

Moreover, 17% of employers still do not have policies in place to manage flexible work arrangements. About two-thirds crafted a formal policy last year.

Three out of five respondents said their flexible work policies would not have a critical effect on their overall pay budget. However, new requirements for work, which call for a hybrid model of pay and rewards, were acknowledged by 47% of respondents.

The survey also showed that 48% of businesses planned to cut their real estate spending and 32% expected savings from expenses related to commuting to work, like transportation and travel. Hannah Beatrisse Oledan