Changing Shifts, Changing Tasks: How Flexible Are Filipino Outsourcing Staff?
25 Apr

By Claire Ponsaran | Posted on April 25, 2017 at 6:36 AM 0 Comments

Filipino workers are highly regarded around the world as dedicated employees with admirable traits. Many employers prefer to hire workers from the Philippines because of their capacity for hard work, strong sense of responsibility, and warm personality. In the outsourcing industry, Filipinos are well-known for their adaptability, versatility, and flexibility. But, how flexible and adaptable are Filipino outsourcing workers?

Adaptability Defined by Experts

According to Dr. Michael O'Connor and Dr. Tony Alessandra, the concept of adaptability combines a dash of versatility with a high level of flexibility. These social psychology experts define flexibility as your WILLINGNESS to adapt while versatility is your ABILITY to adapt. In the world of work, it's a combination of one's attitude towards the job and aptitude for it. So, people who are adaptable are also equally versatile and flexible.

Shuffling Through Day and Night Shifts

The outsourcing industry is notorious for shuffling the work schedules of employees from day to night and day again. Outsourcing companies do this because they want to ensure continuity of operations, and that they'll be able to meet the account's weekly and monthly targets.

Filipinos in the outsourcing industry have learned to adjust to changes in their work schedules. While this does not exactly bode well for their well-being, it's a facet of their jobs that they're willing to do and that they have the ability to follow through despite the hardships. In this sense, adaptability is learned behavior - a formidable quality that anyone can develop in themselves.

How Filipinos Adapt to Changing Shifts

Character-wise, Filipinos are steadfast and resilient. To their detractors they're like barnacles, but to those who view them in a positive light they're like bamboo that bends with the wind.

Filipinos workers in the outsourcing industry are living in a different timezone compared to those working in other industries. Their families have also learned to adapt to this new way of life. If one spouse worked at night and the other had a regular day job, both would make the effort to take their dinner and breakfast together. When a child is sick or needs a parent to attend a meeting at school, one spouse had to adjust and the other had to volunteer their time.

Because of the irregularity of their work schedules, Filipino outsourcing workers put a lot of value on their days off. Family gatherings, running errands, and house chores are often scheduled during those days. One day each week is enough for them to spend quality time with their loved ones.

Cultural Adaptability

Cultural adaptability is a desirable trait among Filipino workers. They can work with a diverse group of people with different backgrounds. They're not shy in talking to people from other countries. Their obsession with social media is proof that they're happy to make friends with other nationalities and engage them in casual conversation.

Filipinos may follow tradition in situations that call for it, but at work they're flexible. While they can get used to following rigid schedules, they're also open to applying changes to the way they work and the times they're supposed to start and end work.

Most of the time, Filipinos are progenitors of their own subcultures at work. They celebrate birthdays and special occasions with their coworkers, including their team mates across the ocean. And, they're happy to share their interests and ideas with their coworkers.

Filipinos Actively Listen While Doing Other Tasks

Outsourcing workers are expected to be proficient in multitasking. They must listen attentively to the other person while taking down notes, adjusting their tone, and choosing their words carefully to extract information from a stranger and to effect the desired outcome of that call.

Filipinos grew up listening to phrases with hidden meaning. Adults rarely speak so explicitly about their work and their personal problems. They can't even say no to friends and colleagues. And so, they learned to extract the true meaning of what others are saying.

This cultural peculiarity made Filipinos more attuned to what the person at the end of line is not saying and what he or she truly meant. This is why they seem more compassionate and empathetic to others. It's also the reason why customers who are bullies and tyrants tend to be rude and arrogant when talking to call center agents in the Philippines.

Yet They are Firm and Steadfast Like the Bamboo

But, make no mistake. Filipinos are not doormats. They can be firm and assertive in defending themselves from racist slurs and low-brow insults. By the same token, outsourcing companies in the Philippines are as resilient and dignified as their employees. They adhere to laws that govern the rights of outsourcing workers and their employers. Labor issues can be resolved through arbitrary means or through legal channels.

They Learn New Skills and Ideas

While a job in outsourcing can be exhausting, it's also a great opportunity for Filipinos to develop their skills and expand their knowledge. It's common for them to treat this line of work as a stepping stone towards more rewarding opportunities. Some have used their earnings to finish their Master's degree or PhD. Others took the opportunity to learn all they can about managing a business with the intention to build their own in the future.


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Tags: Outsourcing to the Philippines, adaptability in outsourcing, Filipino Outsourcing Staff

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