Mexico Will Work from Home, Ready or NotBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 03/24/2020 - 12:43
In Mexico, Phase 2 of the COVID-19 contingency is now in effect. Populated areas such as Mexico City and the State of Mexico have taken measures to restrict events and gatherings. Although offices are not legally required to close, the World Health Organization advises to take precautions. Home office is seeing a boost worldwide, even in Mexico.
For countries like Mexico, this measure could flatten the contagion curve of COVID-19 significantly. A significant portion of society relies on public transportation to get to their office. Working from home is therefore crucial for the so-called social-distancing initiative. Every person staying at home improves the overall outlook on hospitals and helps them to not surpass their capacities. But while home office measures were adapted quickly in and around China, Mexico has had a slower start.
A study by UNAM suggests that only two of every 10 companies were ready for a shift toward working from home. Gaps in regulation notwithstanding, general provisions for working from home were approved by the government in June of 2019. According to Erika Villavicencio Ayub’s report: “Mexican companies are not ready. It is a sad reality; our working culture is not mature and companies are still very toxic. But the context we are experiencing has forced us to start working remotely.” Studies by the Ministry of Labor and OCC Mundial state that around 70 percent of work in Mexico can already be done from remote locations, if proper steps and precautions are taken.
Early adopters of the home office model can often be found in the tech sector. Mexico, is no different. Google Mexico, for instance, followed its headquarters’ decision and sent its employees to work from home in early March when few other companies showed concern over the virus’ effects on the work floor. Expansión reported that soon after, various media and PR agencies encouraged company employees to work from home. In times like these, not only workers can benefit from responsible management; it will reflect positively on the image of a company to the outside world as well.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, situations have changed rapidly at a global scale. Although reports signal that Mexico is not yet ready for remote working, it will need to adapt swiftly. El Universal, for instance, reports that some government workers and city employees are staying away from offices. More and more companies will follow this example. Their creativity and communication skills will define what the corporate landscape will look like once the virus begins to die out.