Despite a thriving economy and what seems like an ever-growing number of remote job openings, unprecedented layoffs are putting many Philippines workers out of work. For those who had been leveraging the convenience that working from home offered, this trend has many employers looking at moving operations back to office-based roles, which means employees must now reacquaint themselves with their commutes as companies rescind atypical arrangements in favour of traditional office settings.
Filipinos have been scrambling to adjust as the job market’s sizzling pace cools and remote jobs become increasingly sought after – but vanishingly scarce. As a result of this great mismatch in supply and demand, many professionals who had basked in newfound freedom while working remotely now find themselves being called back into traditional office settings.
As the pandemic continues to linger and reshape workplace norms, jobseekers are feeling a tug-of-war between their expectations for remote work opportunities and what employers may actually be willing to offer. While wages have plateaued and signing bonuses drop off amidst competition in an already hot market – companies appear less eager than before when it comes to providing teleworking positions. In fact, despite 50% of job applications on LinkedIn being from people hoping for a chance at working remotely; only 15% of listings currently provide that opportunity! Demand for remote jobs remains near all-time highs, even as companies roll back telework positions.
That has led to a tug-of-war between what employees want and what employers are willing to give them. Wage increases are plateauing, signing bonuses are cooling off, and fewer companies are allowing people to work from home than they did even a few months ago.
With the massive demand for remote work opportunities since the start of pandemic lockdowns, jobseekers have been met with equal amounts of disappointment – LinkedIn reports that there are two active applicants per available work-from-home position. This is a stark contrast to onsite jobs which boast nearly twice as many openings as seekers.
With Job Search websites, Indeed and Monster both report fluctuations in postings and applications, showing recent decreases in remote positions yet increased interest from those looking for this type of employment opportunity despite fewer listings – revealing an ever-growing need for more accessible alternatives to traditional office operations during these unprecedented times.
The job market is becoming increasingly competitive as applicants flock to Job Search Websites like LocalTalent.PH in greater numbers—in fact, a November report from the company revealed that applicants are applying for 22 percent more jobs than last year. While work-from-home opportunities have dwindled significantly in industries like tourism, sports and agriculture, which rely heavily on physical business operations, remote working positions remain strong within manufacturing, finance and insurance sectors seem unchanged or plateaued while businesses find their footing within this new landscape.
The coronavirus pandemic instantly transformed the working landscape for millions of Filipinos. With many companies suddenly transitioning to remote work, employees discovered that telework offered a greater degree of flexibility and an improved quality-of-life balance.
Yet in recent months, firms operating in tech BPO, finance and sales have been calling their personnel back into physical offices, recently several top-tier businesses began summoning their employees back into offices around the country. Elon Musk notably ordered all Twitter personnel under his command to report for duty after he took over late last October; although it was later claimed that those deemed ‘exceptional’ could stay working from home if necessary.
Unfortunately, however, this shift has exacerbated the challenges faced by low-wage workers who hoped to continue remotely; economists predict they will now often face limited options or miss out on opportunities altogether as businesses prioritize office attendance over virtual labor forces again.
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