Call centers have established a whole new culture for the people working for these BPO companies. Hailed as the sunshine industry of the Philippines, call centers and the rest of the BPO industry have attracted thousands of Filipino employees. Call centers are considered as a savior of the economy; the unemployment rate has definitely lessened when call centers started to operate in the country.
The most obvious benefit of working for call centers is obvious: good money. Salaries for new graduates usually start at PHP15, 000. For those with previous experiences, the pay can go as high as PHP35, 000 – and that’s just for the average Joe who takes calls. Employees who hold supervisory or managerial positions earn a lot more. Aside from their basic salary, those who get assigned to the night shift get night differential pay. This is definitely a lot more than what other employees get from their day jobs.
Call center employment also means great benefits galore. On top of the high pay that they are receiving, employees get other benefits such as HMO coverage and allowances (for rice, transportation, clothing and sometimes even for gas).
Now the disadvantages. Working at night can be a bitch. It’s hard enough changing your body clock to deal with the graveyard schedule, but you also have to deal with the lack of social life or the opportunity to do errands during the day because you are already asleep by the time the sun is bright and shining. Plus, sustaining a night shift schedule can pose serious consequences to your health.
And yes, it can get tiring answering calls all the time. Call center employees often complain of “brain drain” because of the monotonous nature of their job.
This is why call centers constantly try to top the competition when it comes to employee benefits packages. They try to compensate for the obvious downsides. Employers will give bonuses to add to the hefty amount of money that an employee is already earning. They will also provide various means of recreation for employees. Most call center offices have billiard tables, computer game stations and sleeping lounges where employees can relax during their breaks. Management also organizes frequent team outings to give employees a chance to take a break from the monotony of their work.
Pros and cons aside, it is clear that call centers are here to stay in the Philippines. It will provide employment for those who are having difficulties getting jobs in other fields. Whether it will prove beneficial or detrimental to the culture of young Pinoy workers is yet to be seen.