The dawn of the 2020s has seen significant changes happen in the Philippines jobs market. Below are some big job trends that are likely to impact the lives of Filipino workers within this decade.
1. A Wider Acceptance of Work-from-Home Arrangements
While the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the most obvious catalyst for this change, it is worth noting that work from home (WFH) jobs were already becoming commonplace even before the 2010s.
However, for various reasons, WFH culture was rather slow to spread in the Philippines compared to the rest of the world. The necessities of the pandemic resulted in a kind of grand experiment that forced local businesses to reconsider requiring all their employees to be present at the workplace.
Now that WFH has been demonstrated to be viable and even beneficial for employers, many jobs that were previously confined in the office are unlikely to go back. The ones that do go back are also now likely to be more flexible as well.
Organizations that choose to maintain an office-centric culture are going to face problems attracting talent now that much of the workforce has had a taste of the benefits of working from home.
2. More Transparency from job Providers
A few years ago, pay transparency was not as much of an issue as it is today. It was a given that employees will not discuss their salaries with each other because of a taboo on the subject. Not surprisingly, this taboo does not benefit employees in any way and employers have long been the only ones to see any positives come out of it.
However, times are changing. The widespread popularity of anonymous platforms where employees can rate their companies has meant that more and more employees are becoming aware of extreme pay disparities. It is becoming harder for employers to rely on current and former employees to keep their salaries secret from each other.
In the past decade, average starting salaries and employee asking rates increased because employers were no longer able to pay wages as low as they were previously accustomed to. To add to this, more and more job listing sites require employers to post salary ranges. Companies that post higher salary ranges are naturally going to get much more attention than those that don’t, forcing other employers to match them.
While attitudes to salary discussions are not going to change completely over the next generation, it is becoming abundantly clear that the taboo on sharing your salary range is becoming weaker with time.
3. A Stronger Emphasis on Mental Health
A bill was recently filed in the Philippine Congress that, if passed into law, would grant Filipino employees the right to seek leave for issues related to their mental health. While it is still too early to say just how much support the bill will have, the fact that it even exists represents a huge shift in how Filipinos value mental health today.
Even if the bill were to fail, another one is sure to follow in its place, given the growing value, Filipinos are starting to put on their mental health. Even now, there is a growing number of businesses, particularly startups, that grant mental wellness leaves.
While these companies are still in the minority, other businesses will have to consider including these benefits soon if they want to remain competitive.
4. More automation and AI Job Trends
Automation is, perhaps, the oldest job trend here, having its start in the Industrial Revolution some two centuries ago. Artificial intelligence, an offshoot of automation, is somewhat more recent and has started to come into its own in the past generation.
The quest to shave off whatever human labor we could off the production process has endless philosophical aspects to it. However, as a jobseeker in the Philippines, the main thing that you should know is that automation and AI are already disrupting the BPO industry on which our economy has grown to rely.
New generations of artificial intelligence and automation software are already capable of answering a large proportion of customer concerns, often much faster than the best human customer service agents. These technologies have already been used to replace entire customer service departments, much in the same way factory workers were laid off during previous waves of automation.
This development has already forced local BPOs to veer away from the type of low-tier labor-intensive work that has defined the Philippine BPO experience. Very soon, anyone who wants to enter this industry will have to do much more than just follow a script. Even then, the next generations of tech may allow businesses to replace those workers as well.
Improvements in artificial intelligence and automation aren’t just going to make things challenging for BPO workers either. AI may soon be sophisticated enough to threaten many analysis, quality assurance, and writing jobs as well.
It is no longer enough to think about the next paycheck. With the job market as dynamic as it is, it is important to consider what will happen to your industry in the foreseeable future.
Knowing which job trends are likely to affect the Philippine job market in the next 5-10 years will give you ample time to upskill, change career paths, or make other decisions that will benefit you in the long term. Good luck, and good hunting!
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.