Demand for flexible work spaces seen to rise

By: Catherin Talavera | The Philippine Star / Philstar

MANILA, Philippines — The rise in freelancing jobs is expected to fuel the demand for flexible office spaces, according to a property services firm.

“The rise of the gig economy that operates a flexible mode of working is another reason to further revolutionize office space offerings to cater to this growing segment of the Philippine labor market,” Cushman and Wakefield Philippines said in its latest Property Market News Report.

“As freelance employees manage at home distractions, the flexible office space segment is likely to benefit from this rising trend over the traditional office set-up,”it said.

A recent survey by financial technology company Payoneer noted the growing demand for freelance work with 46 percent of freelancer respondents globally saw an increase in demand for their work in 2022.

Payoneer said this means that businesses continue to rely on freelancers at a growing rate.

The information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector, which is a top driver of office space demand in the country, earlier acknowledged the impact of the gig economy in attracting talent especially in the countryside.

IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president and CEO Jack Madrid earlier told reporters that the rise of the gig economy is something that the IT-BPM industry needs to pay attention to.

Madrid said the rise of the gig economy is an interesting result of work flexibility. “This is the new world of work. And so I think what our industry needs to do is accept the competition,” he said.

As companies in the gig economy are likely unregistered businesses, Madrid stressed that gig economy workers or freelancers should think about the stability of these jobs, especially those with short-term contracts and benefits.

“So I think on the investor side, we need to accept it and compete with it…But as a Filipino I am happy for them because it’s still a job. It’s still good for our economy, but I want them to also know the pros and the cons of not working for an unregistered company,” Madrid said.

Based on its Roadmap 2028, the IBPAP is targeting to create up to 1.1 million new direct jobs by 2028, 54 percent of which will be in the countryside.

MicroSourcing CEO Haidee Enriquez highlighted in a recent summit the challenges brought by the gig economy to the IT-BPM industry.

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