How will businesses adapt to the new normal?

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2020 12:32 AM | Updated as of May 30 2020 05:10 AM

A reminder of safety precautions is posted outside a branch of a clothing brand at SM Mall of Asia, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Pasay City on May 27, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA--Some companies have opted for alternative work arrangements, as government lockdown measures in Metro Manila will be eased to a general community quarantine starting Monday, June 1. 

Under the GCQ, more businesses are allowed to operate, but public transport will be limited.

Alternative arrangements include work from home and flexible time for employees. Some companies will let workers take home office computers, too, and provide allowance for internet expenses. 

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said poor internet connectivity in parts of the country is one of the challenges working from home. Despite this, a business process outsourcing company said work efficiency remains high. 

“We have a system where we can monitor them. If they’re not there, we can call them. I would say in terms of efficiency, we have been very efficient,” Teleperformance site director Chloe Tor said. 

The company also assured clients that data security remains protected under the stay at home arrangement. 

Ella Flores, a software company employee, said: “ ‘Pag nasa bahay safe lang kami, less contact sa mga tao. Lalo na ngayon, marami pang cases and ang dami nang lumalabas.”

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) show that, as of May 28, 23,491 out of 103,616 establishments that reported to them implemented flexible work arrangements.

For employees who will work on site, the new normal at offices includes the use of a foot bath, hand sanitizer and temperature check before entering their work area.

Physical distancing will also be strictly observed in the arrangement of work desks, at cafeteria and elevator lines, and even on the company shuttle. 

Some companies will continue to shuttle employees under the GCQ, and some offices will mark the floor to remind of social distancing. 

Some cafeterias have put up partitions between tables and will use disposable utensils. Door handles will also be disinfected regularly.

“The employers will shoulder the PPEs (personal protective equipment) for our workers,” DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay reminded businesses.

ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said: “Manageable ‘yun. ‘Wag lang 'yung testing, medyo mahal ‘yun.”