Cebu sees emergence of hybrid workplaces amid pandemic

Cebu sees emergence of hybrid workplaces amid pandemic

CEBU CITY – The increasing demand for hybrid workplaces has offered a flexible work environment for workers who are slowly getting back to their normal office functions despite the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

Lars Wittig, International Workplace Group (IWG) country manager for Philippines and other countries in Asia, said the pandemic has created sudden global trends where work has become flexible.

Speaking in a media briefing during the launching Tuesday of Regus as IWG’s multiple office space portfolio at Park Centrale, Cebu IT Park, IWG, and AppleOne Properties Inc. (API), Wittig presented insights on the direction of the post-pandemic work environment here, seeing the emergence of flexible workspaces in suburban areas in the light of the “hybrid work” model.

Wittig, who is also the vice president for sales for Asean and South Korea, said many industries and companies have tried this concept of working from home, but the vast majority of companies are now into flexible working spaces.

“IWG has just added a million customers to our network amid the pandemic with another million committed,” Wittig said.

Joy Veloso, AppleOne Properties, Inc. (API) chief operating officer, said that as Cebu has been able to control the spread of Covid-19, the people are slowly getting back to their normal lives and workers going back to offices.

Veloso said businesses in the city are starting to open as restrictions are less rigid and investment opportunities remain strong.

“What’s happening in Cebu is very exciting, some are still trying to navigate their way, but we have been able to manage the situation. People are now accepting and moving to the new normal of adapting to the hybrid working concept,” she said.

Wittig and Veloso agreed though that the current work-from-home (WFH) trend may not be the ideal long-term solution considering that many businesses rely on the traditional face-to-face model in its operations.

They said companies of all sizes had already been moving towards the hybrid way of work even before the coronavirus outbreak and the pandemic had just merely hastened its adoption and demand.

Wittig said research showed that three times the number of listed businesses are now looking to use a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way before the pandemic.

“Cebu is prepared and very much adapting to this new normal concept of hybrid working situation. Human resources versus the limitation of workplaces and commuting which separate them from work. Geography is a form of limitation and suddenly you are not limited in your working situation because the hybrid working concept can give people access to more flexible ways of work and global acquisition of talents,” Wittig said. (PNA)

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