Health, traffic top employee concerns for 2nd consecutive year — SAVii report

February 7, 2024

COVID-19 pandemic-era worries prevail, with ‘health’ and ‘traffic’ remaining as top concerns of Filipino workers for the second consecutive year, according to the most recent SAVii Workplace Intelligence survey of over 23,000 Filipino employees.

The survey revealed that 34 percent of employee respondents worry about their personal health, and 24 percent are concerned about traffic. The third in the ranking of top concerns was money (15 percent). 

Employee insights from SAVii 

The Philippines had one of the longest community quarantines in the world, beginning in March 2020 before officially ending in July 2021. As Filipinos were ordered to stay at home to prevent the surge of the virus, businesses adapted to work-from-home (WFH) setups, and the majority of employed Filipinos adapted to more time at home while keeping their main income source.

The SAVii results underpinned the evolving priorities of employees, as a separate survey of over 4,000 resigned employees also revealed that over the past two years, 26 percent of resigned workers cited ‘Office location or WFH ending’ as their reason for leaving.

Those who sought new employers did so in favor of more flexible work options, with the same survey revealing that ‘workplace flexibility’ is now one of the top three preferred benefits that employees look for. 

Pressure mounts for BPO

Despite the clear preference for WFH among Filipino workers, implementation remains a struggle. The BPO industry, for instance, is facing another challenge to revert to onsite work. 

Department of Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla, in an opinion penned early in January, cited Section 309 of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, or Republic Act No. 11534, which requires registered business enterprises (RBEs) to work onsite in order to qualify for tax incentives. 

“Section 309 of the Tax Code still prevails,” Remulla was quoted saying after local news agencies reported on his legal opinion.

The Justice chief further clarified, as he was quoted saying in a news report that “these enterprises are not prohibited from adopting a WFH arrangement but will no longer be eligible to continue enjoying the tax incentives.”

Business experts respond to DOJ opinion 

Remulla’s opinion was countered by the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Jack Madrid, noting that these headlines or opinions could drive employees away from the BPO industry. 

“The Philippines doesn’t have a demand problem. What we have is a challenge of talent supply. So when we have a talent supply problem and they read a headline that constrains them from work flexibility, it could damage the reputation of our industry and country”, Madrid was quoted saying in a news report. 

BPO leaders are not the only ones speaking up. SAVii, an employee benefits provider which spearheads SAVii Workplace Intelligence reports, emphasizes that ‘flexible work’ is a valuable workplace asset. 

“WFH transformed from a life-saving effort to an essential benefit in the workplace. Filipino workers have now seen what it’s like to put their health first and enjoy a flexible work setup suited to their needs, and it greatly contributes to a workplace culture that motivates employees to remain engaged,” said SAVii Head of Communications Jennifer Simons-Castillo.

Remote and flexible work has become a major preference among Filipino workers according to the SAVii survey, as 25 percent of respondents said they chose their current employer for its flexible workplace options.  

“The fact that health, traffic, and flexibility are bigger workplace worries compared to career or money reveals a lot about what employees need and want from employers,” she added. 

About SAVii Workplace Intelligence

SAVii Workplace Intelligence is a series of reports focusing on modern, flexible workplaces that prioritize employee wellness. The SAVii 2022 annual survey has respondents from more than 18,000 employees across industries, including BPO, manufacturing, and F&B, to understand their financial wellness and workplace experiences. The survey, which covered topics like work-life balance, financial wellness, job satisfaction, and overall well-being, was distributed via email. The results provide valuable insights for organizations looking to improve employee well-being and engagement. 4,800 employees were sampled in the SAVii Workplace Intelligence survey of workers who were also SAVii customers. SAVii is the category leader in salary linked financial services that also directly affects employee churn - a core parameter that defines their credit scoring model. 

About SAVii

SAVii is the category leader in salary-linked financial services. Our 100+ corporate employer partners get data insight that can help manage attrition and unlock engaged, productive employees. We support nearly 500,000 employees with safe, convenient, and affordable loans, advances, and mental health support. Connect with us at [email protected] or find out more at