A negative stereotype of Filipinos is being late, or as we call it, having Filipino time. For those who don’t know, Filipino time means arriving 15, sometimes an hour, later than the agreed-upon time. This isn’t exclusive to ordinary Filipino workers; even Filipino employers are known to do this.
With the advent of remote working, many factors causing Filipino time, such as the state of transportation in the country, are no longer applicable. Does this mean remote work finally has solved the problem of how to avoid Filipino time? Let’s find out.
Remote Work Means No More Commuting.
For many Filipinos working traditionally, long commutes are an everyday part of life. Not helping matters is the lack of public transportation due to the effects of the pandemic and rising oil prices. Is it any wonder why so many Filipinos practice Filipino time, willingly or not, under such conditions?
But in a remote work setup, however, this isn’t the case. Here, you don’t need to worry about waking up early to avoid the morning rush, as your workspace is now your home. This allows you to be more punctual at work and meetings; all you need to do is log in on your company’s chosen work app, and you’re set.
The Issue With Philippine Internet.
Yes, remote work has removed the need to commute. That said, remote work also depends on another factor: the internet. This presents new problems to remote workers, such as slow internet speeds and instability, especially for those living away from urban centers.
The worst part about these challenges? They’re completely out of your control. Unlike commuting, where you can at least mitigate by waking up early, if the internet is down, it’s down. Unless you have a pocket wifi or excellent internet connection, being late may become a regular occurrence again, even in a remote work setup.
Working Remotely Means Working With Foreign Clients.
Another effect of the growing popularity of remote work is the chance to work with foreign clients. Besides the difference in salary rates, working with foreign clients also means adapting to their unique work cultures.
However, thinking you can continue applying Filipino time in this setup only results in a culture clash. Foreign clients don’t look kindly on being late all the time, as they see it as unprofessional and you not taking your job seriously. To avoid these instances, you either step up and adapt or expect to not last long in your work.
Filipino Time Goes Back Longer Than You Think.
Yes, online jobs help reduce the adverse effects of Filipino time. But that still doesn’t solve the fact that this mentality has been a thing for centuries. This idea dates back to the Spanish period, when it was shown to be a status symbol at the time.
Not convinced? Rizal’s famous novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, describe instances of affluent Filipinos arriving late to show their status. It only became a negative trait during the American period, when the Americans found this trait of Filipinos annoying.
Because of this, even if Filipinos have an option that allows them to be more punctual, some may still not take it. It is understandably hard to let go of old habits, after all. Especially ones that have been ingrained in our culture for a long time.
Working Online Means No More Filipino Time?
Without a doubt, remote work has greatly helped in reducing the factors causing Filipinos to continue practicing Filipino time. That said, there are still hurdles old and new to overcome before this mentality completely disappears. Introducing remote working is a good step forward, but it shouldn’t be the end of it.