Home-based workers tend to be efficient, says telecommuting law author


Posted at Jan 16 2019 12:31 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2019 01:09 PM

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MANILA - Private sector employees who opt to work at home will likely be more efficient than their office-based peers on top of helping their employers cut costs, the author of the telecommuting law said Wednesday, quoting studies abroad.

Studies in the United States said employees who work from home render more hours and the practice had a "15 to 20 percent efficiency rate," said Sen. Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.

Information technology company IBM reported that it saved about $35 billion since allowing employees to work remotely and media firm AT&T cut down its office space from 12 floors to 2.5, he said.

In the Philippines, even before the law was enacted, 261 local companies in the country had practiced telecommuting and they were "happy" with it, said Villanueva.

Fears raised by the Employers' Conferederation of the Philippines (ECOP) then that the law would slash productivity was "wrong," he told ANC's Headstart.

"We’re not in a perfect condition, but we’re progressing. This is a dynamic law and we intend to make sure that it can (stand) the test of time," he said when pressed on the issue raised by ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis that intermittent internet connection might be a problem in monitoring employees' work.

The government is also working to improve the connectivity issues in the country, Villanueva said, citing the recent passage of the Free Wifi Act.

He said the law only made telecommuting an option to firms and did not make it mandatory. The law also protects the rights of workers if the employers adopt the practice, he said.

"If they intend to implement this working arrangement, the term and conditions set by the employee and the employer should not be lower than the minimum standards of the law. Yun lang ang gusto natin (That is all we want)," he said.