Top call center company in the Philippines, SYKES,continues to support essential operations in its Cebu City site as it remains under community quarantine. To ensure employee health and safety, SYKES enabled employees to work from the comfort of their homes and continuously encourage their mental wellness amid the ensuing crisis.
“SYKES Cebu maintains full operations for its partners and clients while making sure that employees are safe and well taken care of. Employee welfare and well-being in the workplace have always been among our top priorities across all sites. Most of our employees are deployed to work at home to allow them to perform their tasks while complying with social distancing protocols and keeping safe and healthy. Rest assured that SYKES remains to be a comfortable, clean, and safe working environment that abides by and implements the national government’s social distancing directives and sanitation protocols,” said John Sneed, SYKES Senior Vice President and General Manager.
As the BPO industry is frequently considered as one of the pillars of the Philippine economy, the sector is naturally quick to adapt to the continuously changing dynamics of the business. SYKES is proud to say it has never stopped operations since Day 1 of the quarantine and continues to serve its clients and ensure that employees are provided with the safest work environment.
To effectively maintain support to its clients, SYKES leveraged the agility of its employees and offered them the opportunity to work from home to sustain the level of service during the pandemic. This enabled the employees to better address the challenges brought by the crisis, including the lack of public transportation, physical and mental health concerns, and work-life balance. With this work arrangement in place, employees are given more flexibility to attend to their personal and professional needs.
Employees working at home were provided with the proper work equipment they need, like PC sets, headphones, and modem,to fulfill their duties. SYKES employees quickly adapted to the new temporary work arrangement and were able to successfully continue operations with little to no interruptions.
With the cooperation of the employees and the prompt direction by the SYKES management, the BPO leader was able to quickly pull off the work-at-home arrangement for the majority of its workforce.
Meanwhile, for the rest of its staff handling accounts where a work-at-home arrangement is not a viable option, SYKES Cebu established Camp SYKES, an employee assistance program designed to provide them with accommodation, whether within office premises or nearby hotels, for their safety and convenience. Employees in the program are provisioned with free meals, free shuttle service, hygiene kits, and additional incentives and allowances.
SYKES employees, also known as SYKESers, express an outpouring of love and support on social media for the company’s quick response to the crisis. Angelica Pearl shared, “SYKES Cebu – Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for our great accommodation and free meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner including weekends). Thank you for ensuring the safety of your employees. We are grateful for all the things you’ve done to us. You are awesome!”
Others recognized the blessing of having jobs and earning income at this time and were grateful for the efforts of their coworkers to travel miles just to deliver their work-at-home setups.
Paul Yap said, “Work at home is reaaaaal! Thank you so much sapag hatod sa Computer Equipment SYKES Cebu! I am so happy because I am soooo lucky to be a SYKES Employee! Imagine, they travelled from Cebu City all the way to Danao City! OMG! ‘Di lang jud nako mapug nga nakong kalipay of how SYKES cared for all its employees.”
“Being able to earn amidst this pandemic crisis is a huge blessing to me and the entire Project Dental Team. Thank you, SYKES Cebu and client, for entrusting your business to us and putting your people’s safety on top of everything. This opportunity strengthens me and my team’s A+ relationship because we do not only keep in touch through messenger during our shift, but also during rest days,” wrote Aimmie De Vega.
Mental well-being in the workplace
In line with the temporary suspension of mass gatherings and physical interactions across the country, most employee engagement programs at SYKES have been moved online as well.As an award-winning BPO employer,SYKES understands the need to promote camaraderie and support through this trying time, and therefore continues to hold activities that encourage holistic growth and well-being in the workplace.
SYKES Cebu conducted its Mental Health Talk held in various sessions wherein a professional talked about and raised awareness on the importance of mental health. The employees were given the right guidance on how and whom to reach out to when coping with mental health concerns during the pandemic. SYKES actively advocates for the mental wellness of its employees, especially now during the months-long quarantine amid the global health crisis.
“SYKES understands that the pandemic may take a toll on an employee’s mental health,which is why we continue to raise awareness about protecting not only their physical health, but mental well-being as well. SYKES highly encourages employees to reach out to mental health experts should they feel overwhelmed by this adversity. We have partnered with medical health institutions where our employees can receive benefits that cover even their mental health. We have also provided them with the details of our medical health partners through our social communication platforms to make sure that help is within their reach,” said Kris Villaba, SYKES Senior Director for District Operations.
Amid the uncertainty of the present situation, SYKES will continue to abide by government directives and guidelines on business continuity and site capacity for the safety of its employees. It will continue to ensure that employees remain safe at home while still able to work not only to provide solutions to partners and clients, but especially to ensure the welfare of their loved ones and provide for their needs.
SYKES is one of the country’s pioneering BPO companies.It is the first call center to venture out of Manila to operate the first call center in Cebu in 2003, opening many opportunities for Cebuanos to work, learn, and grow. At present, SYKES employs over 15,000 workers in the Philippines.