There are a lot of things that don’t sit right with viruses, but the Coronavirus takes the crown and the throne quite literally. The ramifications of the pandemic, ranging from disruption of world orders and governments to business meltdowns, increased crime rates in some areas of the globe, and deaths cannot be overemphasized. Studies claim that the aftermath will be more cataclysmic. “What more could possibly be worse than this?” you might be asking. Well, it’s going to be for us all to see. Hopefully, these studies are wrong.
The importance of the outsourcing industry in the Philippine economy is colossal. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) alone contributes about 15% of the Philippines’ GDP and showing the potential of rising by the end of the year. Over the years, the industry has also provided over 1.3 million jobs for Filipinos, the importance of this industry cannot be downplayed. The outsourcing industry, a major driving force of the economy of the Philippines, sadly, is now limited in its services to clients by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In “dark” of the emergence of the pandemic, the Island of Luzon, a significant hub of the Philippines ‘ workforce that contributes almost 70% of the nation’s financial system has been locked down until at least May 15. This is part of strict quarantine restrictions implemented to prevent the rapid spread of the viral disease. This affects the nature of how important business sectors like outsourcing companies operate.
As a result of the pandemic, some Philippine outsourcing companies have requested that their workers do their jobs from home by making use of advanced telecommunication channels. In other companies, employees have been living at their places of work, all in a bid to remain operational and continue to work seamlessly.
This new system, however, has given rise to a giant black hole within the system, sucking up its efficiency and gradually rendering it unproductive. This stems from the fact that the majority of staff working at home for outsourcing companies lack the required equipment and facilities to work efficiently from home.
These requirements may include sophisticated personal computers and a fast broadband network. They may also face difficulties in team communication, poor time management, dealing with distractions, amongst other challenges. The pandemic has led some companies into deciding to restore jobs, and upend their outsourcing to the Philippines. These foreign countries have made announcements on plans to recruit staff in their respective countries. Some other companies have resulted in the use of artificial intelligence in completing their projects rather than outsourcing them to humans. This development is more likely to affect voice-based outsourcing companies (call centers). Apparently, AI does not come down with chronic pneumonia and stroke from viral infections.
Why choose the outsourcing services of the Philippines, and what makes them different from the outsourcing of other countries, especially during this pandemic?
Cognizant of the success of this industry, the government of the Philippines led by President Rodrigo Duarte has eased the terms of the lockdown to allow BPO workers to actively carry out their jobs. The challenges of getting work amidst the curfew and lockdown, combined with the fear of the virus seem to render the efforts of the government useless. However, measures are being put in place to ease the issues and increase optimization. The government also understands that if individual employees in the same service line are unable to deliver efficiently, it may affect client-protocol. Leading to a series of lawsuits. Unlike other nations of the world, the Philippines, being hardworking and flexible people, are making resilient but cautious efforts to keep their outsourcing businesses open. The Philippine government also grants permission to BPO companies to install the equipment necessary to implement a work from home scheme. The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is ordering the local government to allow the free movement of BPO workers and equipment through their areas. However, social distancing and proper sanitization measures must be strictly followed. These efforts are a clear indication that the government of the country understands the industry’s economic importance and will continue to render help to these companies to keep their doors open.
Except there’s a new strain of the virus that affects language knowledge of the infected, the infection generally does not affect the fact that English is an official language in the Philippines. It is used in conversing daily with accents similar to the US, giving it an advantage over other big guns in the outsourcing industry like India. English has been an official language in the country since 1935, mainly because the south-east Asian country is a former colony of the United States. The Philippines have a high rating when it comes to English proficiency and evaluation, and the professional outsourcing Filipinos graduate from institutions that have international standards when it comes to English.
Data Security Laws:
The Philippines have strict data security laws unaffected by the pandemic. The state of legislation and laws passed by the government of the Philippines to protect the sharing of confidential data and information of clients with unauthorized entities remain intact. Outsourcing companies in the country have sent out memos reassuring their clients of data security as no breach has been registered as a result of the pandemic. The data privacy act passed by the Philippine government in 2012 ensures the privacy standards in the country are up to international standards even during these trying periods.
Outsourcing companies in the Philippines are one of the best outsourcing destinations in the world, not only because of the previously stated reasons but also because of the teamwork culture of the Filipinos. This is a perfect illustration of the saying, “Two good heads are better than one,” well in this case, “A team of good Filipino heads is better than one.” As a result of this, work demands are met more efficiently and in due time.
Asians are known for their “big brains,” and the same applies to the Filipinos. The Philippines are swimming with talented minds and intellectuals that are ready and determined to carry out projects and complete tasks. The education system of the Philippines ensures that their students going into the labor market know the specific skills and knowledge required of them to thrive in the outsourcing industry. This is a significant advantage over other countries involved in outsourcing.
According to the Philippines Demographics Profile of 2019, the median age of people living in the country is 23.7 years. This is a clear indication that the majority of the population of the Philippines are young and vibrant individuals, free of fatigue and the ramifications of aging. In a world dominated by science and technology, young minds are the exact group of people required, and these minds are conscious of the dynamics of science and technology, even at this young age.
Outsourcing companies provide an essential advantage to the companies they work for, which is reducing operational costs. This, however, is even made better by the Philippines Why? The cost of labor there is way less when compared to the United States or the United Kingdom. This gives them an advantage over other companies with bogus prices. Most times, business owners save up to 60% of costs by outsourcing their services to the Philippines.
Despite the imminent threat to the outsourcing business by AI and the pandemic, Philippine outsourcing is still standing firm, viable, and available to deliver top-notch projects and uphold proper client protocol. It’s only the best there is. Do not settle for less.