Millions of employees all over the world have been displaced since the coronavirus pandemic. Commercial establishments, business firms, and offices were forced to stop physically operating for health and safety reasons. Everyone is forced to adjust and adapt to the health standards imposed by the government, paving the way for the new normal of work. Next BPO Solutions, a BPO company based in Davao City, Philippines. Strictly complied with these standards, the on-site arrangements for selected employees. We have surveyed some of these employees to know their thoughts and feelings about the current situation. This included questions regarding their knowledge of the pandemic, their well-being, mental state, and adjustments to working on-site and to forced leave.
The survey revealed that 100 percent of the respondents felt anxious upon the declaration of the pandemic. It was reflected through the fear of traveling, expectation of lockdown until 2022, and a drastic change in their way of life. This manifested even more so when there was a positive case in the City. They felt alarmed, anticipated that work from home will be a trend, and limit themselves from going outside. When the city itself declared Enhance Community Quarantine, most of the population resorted to panic buying. However, the respondents did not consider this an option. Twenty-five percent (25%) felt panic and bought food and essentials, 25 percent felt worried and did not panic buy because of prior stocks, another – 25 percent felt alarmed but had no time to buy anything due to office work, and the last 25 percent felt cam.
When several extensions happened, we asked about their feelings and how it affected their families. One was expecting it to happen because of the rising cases in the city, the other one felt anxious. Another answered that being away from their family is a usual setting and the last one said that it was fine since they were staying at the office and that it is safer there. Half of them answered that their families did not experience challenges during this quarantine. One stated that there were conflicts in attitudes. And those that did not have the option to go home was just thankful for social media to be able to communicate.
Just like us, all of them were concerned about their family’s health. Especially that they were working far from them. However, they had several ways of maintaining their family’s health. Fifty-percent (50%) said it was through eating the right foods like soup in every meal and avoid drinking cold water. 25 percent answered they update their family through the news they have heard or read. And the last 25 percent only followed government protocols.
We also asked them if they are ready for the General Community quarantine and 75 percent of the respondents answered no, mostly because of the undeclared cases. The 25 percent that answered yes was confident about the plans of the local government, so they were not afraid. All those feelings resulted to stress and/or burn out. One fourth managed to cope through sleep, another talked to family and friends, another part coped by crying and the last portion relaxed by getting some vitamins from the sun.
Questions also included their feelings as we transition to the “new normal”. All of them have accepted the fact that they must conform to the changes. One of them even expected that working from home will possibly be a standard option. One also feared that the events might have adversely affected their plans for the future. Even with an open mind, they still miss the activities before such as social gatherings, being with people they love, eating outside, and even the simple act of walking freely outside.
All the answers reflected the perspectives of each individual employee. It gives us a closer look at how people, especially those working on-site, see the current situation. This may only be a small portion of the working population, but it might speak well on behalf of them. They had various takes on the things that have happened – personally and professionally. We can use this as reference to adapt to the changes that is happening now and in the future.