BPO firms in the Philippines are hiring hotels to shelter their staff, with stringent travel restrictions in the Asian country threatening to halt their operations.
Philippines has suspended public transportation, ordering the BPO firms to allow their employees to work from home.
Contact centers are worried about the idea of adopting work-at-home policies because of concerns over data security. Therefore, they are hiring rooms in nearby hotels and apartments to house their staff, while a few others have chosen to shelter their employees at their own office campus.
In an email reply to a local publication, The Business World, global contact center provider Concentrix has described the work-at-home model as “highly unusual”, adding that such an arrangement puts customer data at risk.
Instead of allowing employees to work from their homes, Concentrix has opted to provide temporary accommodations either in its offices or in nearby hotels.
Concentrix has also announced a slew of financial aid for its employees in Luzon, the most populous Philippino island struggling to slow the spread of Covid-19 disease. The company has agreed to pay salary in advance, in addition to offering medical and tuition fees for the family members of its staff.
Teleperformance, another giant in the BPO market, has turned its site into a home-cum-office, providing employees with both accommodation and meals. It has also hired buses for providing transportation services to some of its staff.
However, the lockdown has already halted the operations of many customer service units. Acer, a Taiwanese multinational, has admitted that it is struggling to reopen its call center in the Philippines.
“Acer is working very closely with our global contact center partners and Philippines government authorities to restore our call center operations as soon as possible,” the company has stated in a press release.
“We understand and realize that whilst the global Coronavirus Pandemic and mandatory lockdown is outside of our control, this has regrettably affected our ability to service our customers.”