Hybrid working models have been thrust into the spotlight in recent years, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to get creative and evolve their current practices. Across the world, plenty of people are still working from home, while some have returned to the office on a full-time basis. Many people, however, have done both, regularly working at home or remotely for several days, and returning to the office for the remainder of the working week. This is hybrid working, and many believe it is here to stay, both in the business process outsourcing industry and across the modern working landscape.
But moves towards a hybrid model have not all been smooth. Some have viewed hybrid working as a temporary solution – a kind of stop-gap that enables businesses to keep on working while they prepare for a return to the old way of doing things. It may be time to leave this perception of hybrid working behind, changing our approach and instead viewing this as the next step in the evolution of work. After all, in the wake of COVID-19, the BPO industry in the Philippines has adopted this hybrid model with considerable success, achieving excellent results for clients while keeping their own personnel safe at the same time.
So what does this mean for businesses outsourcing to the Philippines in 2022 and beyond? Let’s take a look at the changing landscape of work in this country.
Work From Home Period Extended in the Philippines
While it’s up to individual companies to decide whether to allow their personnel to work from home or not, there are other things to consider. For example, the tax implications – the Filipino government had suggested that workers who do not return to the more traditional in-office environment may be taxed differently, potentially increasing the tax burden for Filipino businesses.
This caused understandable alarm among business process outsourcing firms in the Philippines, and there was a concern as to how this might affect the nation’s BPO industry, as well as other industries across the country. However, the government announced in September 2022 that many organisations would be permitted to continue with a hybrid model and still keep the tax perks that they had enjoyed before and during COVID-19.
The call centre industry in the Philippines – which contributes significantly to the BPO sector in the country – is worth almost $30 billion to the local economy and employs 1.4 million Filipinos. This industry had achieved business continuity by adopting a work from home model, shifting to a hybrid model when conditions allowed. Filipino finance secretary Benjamin Diokno eased fears on September 15 when he said that “the tax incentives will continue, [even if BPO firms] opt to [continue their work] from home.” In other words, businesses will continue to achieve financial incentives and tax benefits, no matter whether their employees are in the office, at home, or in another remote location.
To facilitate this, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board said that BPO companies can transfer their registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to the Board of Investments – a move that would allow businesses to keep the incentives that they have previously enjoyed. Diokno serves as chair of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board and predicted that around 2,000 companies would be able to achieve this “smooth transfer of benefits”.
Positive Developments for BPO in the Philippines
This is excellent news for everyone involved in the BPO industry here in the Philippines. Business process outsourcing has been one of the key driving forces behind the economic resilience of the Philippines during this period and is going to be crucial in its recovery. Much of this continued strength and growth has occurred during social-distancing restrictions, which means work from home and hybrid working models have been important in the recovery of the entire nation.
Not only have these models been important, but they have also been highly effective. Businesses have been able to keep on hitting high benchmarks of quality and work volume, even during the most trying periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that clients across the world can rely on their partners here in the Philippines. This is proof that the hybrid model works and that businesses can realise the staff wellbeing benefits that come with the hybrid model without compromising on the client experience.
Outsource to the Philippines with enablesGroup
Here at enablesGroup, we are one of the leaders in the Philippines’ burgeoning BPO market. We help clients from all over the globe to connect with leading talent here in the Philippines, leveraging the advantages that remote teams and outsourced processes can offer. To discover more, get in touch with our team today and start revolutionising your approach to operations.