May 23, 2017

Manila traffic is bad. And it’s not just a state of mind or a mere excuse. From the viewpoint of someone who lives in Malabon and works in Makati, everyday commute is a struggle. There’s the unpredictable long line at the train station (thankfully, LRT-1 has shorter lines now). When you get on the platform, trains are already packed. It’s either I wait for a skip train or I suffer in the extremely packed train. If I’m willing to spend a fortune, I can take an Uber or Grab. In my case, it usually costs around P300 to P400 in the morning. Then, there’s the option to take the jeepney or the van. Whatever mode of transportation I take, though, it usually takes one and a half to two hours for me to get to the office.

Yes, I know. It’s a hassle.

On May 22, the Senate approved the “work from home” bill in hopes that it will be one of the answers to the worsening traffic. Senate Bill No. 1363 or the Telecommuting Act of 2017 was approved with 22 votes. When ratified, the Bill seeks to ensure that employees who work remotely get their rights and benefits.

Beyond being a traffic solution, there are proven benefits both for companies and employees.

Increased Productivity
Senator Joel Villanueva, one of the proponents of the bill, told that some companies are already implementing this policy. In a 2014 study comprised of 500 employees, 70 percent of the correspondents claimed that they were more productive when they worked on-the-go.

In a study conducted by the Stanford University, it was reported that, in the U.S., those who worked from home are 13 percent more efficient. Even when sick or on vacation, those who work from home still render a few hours of work.

Better Relationships at Home
For those who have children, working from home gives them the chance to spend more time with their children. The Atlantic discovered that, in the U.S., families with both parents working earn $102,400 compared to $55,000 income of those with only one parent working.  As a result, parents tend to lose time with their kids.

If parents would be allowed to work from home, they could guide their kids properly and build a stronger emotional bond with them.

Improved Health
Working from home eliminates the thought of a dreadful commute. Hence, employees can sleep better. In a study conducted in 2015, it was discovered that workers suffered from fatigue and lack of sleep. In turn, it decreased productivity and even costed $1,967 per employee.

Aside from that, those who work from home exercise a better work-life balance. “Forty-five percent of remote workers get more sleep, 35 percent exercise more and 42 percent eat healthier. Some 44 percent report a more positive attitude and 53 percent say they’re less stressed,” Aliah D. Wright of Society for Human Resource Management wrote.

Employer Benefits
While the benefits for the employees are apparent, employers tend to get some benefits, too. That includes a less turnover rate. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a work from home policy decreases the turnover rate of a company by 88 percent. Thus, employers also save time in looking for new employees and at the same time, they also save money.

There is still a long list of other benefits both employees and employers can enjoy with an effective work from home policy. It surely sounds attractive, but always remember to get your work done before you watch that new episode of Twin Peaks or that new show on Netflix.



TAGS: career commute PRODUCTIVITY Senate Bill No. 1363 work from home