[B-SIDE Podcast] Preventing Professional Isolation: How the Outsourcing Industry deals with a divided workforce

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The outsourcing industry was one of the few sectors that continued to operate throughout the entire 2019 Coronavirus Disease Containment (COVID-19) lockdown period.

Much of the industry was moving from home, creating new mental health challenges. Professional isolation is the bane of teleworkers, while those who must show up to meet cybersecurity requirements that are not supported by working from home struggle with fears of potentially catching the COVID-19 virus.

Mirei G. Magallona, ​​Country Vice President of Telus International Philippines, tells Business world Reporter Jenina P. Ibañez on how the outsourcing industry is dealing with these challenges and what the company is doing to help its employees.

TAKEAWAYS

The workplace is not connected.

Outsourcing companies can find remote work challenging. Not only are employees separated from one another, management also finds it difficult to ensure that their leadership presence can be felt through a webcam.

Telus employees, in a survey, pointed to uncertainties caused by the pandemic, regardless of whether they work from home or on-site.

“When you work from home, you are a bit isolated,” she said. The company has set up a toll-free number to provide direct mental and physical health assistance to professionals.

Communication is important.

Ms Magallona said Telus needs to provide health safety and hygiene protocols to staff working on site.

The industry is unique in that it operates around the clock. Therefore, companies need to ensure that health security does not deteriorate.

Despite its unique working hours, the outsourcing industry isn’t all that different from companies operating in a pandemic. “We were all affected, regardless of the industry,” she said.

Talk to the experts.

It is important to speak to experts, especially medical professionals, before setting new guidelines.

Telus has a health and wellness committee that meets regularly. “We also hired a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases to provide advice to the committee on how to deal with the situation and how to address concerns from our team members.”

Policy changes are based on these discussions, health advice, and government protocols.

This B-side was remotely recorded on February 18th. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.

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