EMPLOYEES of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will soon follow a two-shift work schedule designed to enhance health safety in the workplace while sustaining high level of output and efficiency despite the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.
According to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma, the new timetable would have some employees working from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, while others do their duties from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“This is our latest adaptation in the new normal,” Eisma said on Tuesday, April 20.
“We have tried a Team A-Team B weekly alternate schedule to minimize health risks and prevent workplace transmission of Covid-19, but the downside was unavoidable work backlogs,” she said.
“Now, with this Shift A-Shift B scheme, we prevent backlogs, discourage intermingling among workers, and minimize the number of persons in the office at any given time,” she added.
The new work schedule, which was approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), will start on Thursday, April 22, said SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Support Services Ramon Agregado.
Agregado clarified that the new shift work would only apply to office workers, and that field workers who already worked in shifts would maintain their existing schedules.
He said that under the two-shift work plan, employees will work in the office for six hours and from home for another two hours every day in order to comply with the 40-hour workweek requirement.
He added that those under Shift A, who would report to office from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be on work-from-home status from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., while those on Shift B will be on work-from-home status from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and would report to office from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The one-hour window between office work and work-from-home periods would give employees time for travel between office and residence. “But the same can be further adjusted in the case of workers from farther areas like Zambales and Bataan,” Agregado added.
He said the new work schedule will also allow employees who take public transport to avoid the rush hour, as they will go to work very early in the morning or in the afternoon.
Eisma also stressed that the SBMA adopted the two-shift work plan as a win-win solution to the seeming dilemma between work safety and productivity.
“The truth is, we can no longer afford a drop in productivity because the SBMA has been financially bleeding since the pandemic curtailed much business in the Subic Freeport. This, we hope, would give us more business, but not at the expense of our employees’ health,” she said.
Eisma also pointed out that the new shift schedule would result in better service to Subic Freeport stakeholders and SBMA customers because offices would be open for a longer time, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. instead of from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Ric Sapnu)