Philippines’ SMBs score lowest in APAC for work-from-home preparedness

ASUS revealed that only 60% of Philippine businesses believed they were ready for the work-from-home (WFH) requirement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the lowest across the Asia-Pacific markets sampled.

82% of employers stated they believed they already offered a WFH policy; however, only 66% of employees agreed that such a policy was in existence; and only 59% of business owners are actively supporting WFH.

These findings, among other interesting strategic insights to SMB technology use and how COVID-19 has affected related decisions, were revealed in an ASUS-commissioned, independent survey conducted by leading technology research firm, IDC.

Survey methodology

The “IDC Asia/Pacific Laptops and Workspace Trends Survey 2020” was conducted in mid-2020 in 10 countries across Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines. The survey sought to discover the challenges of remote working and the impact on SMBs’ provisioning of laptops and other work devices and involved 2,018 respondents across the Asia-Pacific, split equally between employers (IT decision makers) and employees who use laptops for work.


Asia-Pacific SMBs not ready for long-term remote working arrangements

At the Asia-Pacific level, the survey reveals that businesses are not attuned to the “work-anywhere” trend brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, only 28% of business owners in Asia-Pacific expect employees to continue working remotely post COVID-19, with almost 40% anticipating a return to office. This short-term focus highlights the challenges that remote working entails — particularly around security, operational, collaboration, communication, and productivity issues. But this also means that businesses are not supporting their employees fully with the right devices for a prolonged work-from-home (WFH) setup. IDC stated that this short-term orientation will have a significant impact on the devices that are being purchased now and in future, with a profound, negative effect on employee productivity

Key Filipino findings

For the Philippines in particular, the survey found that prior to the pandemic, the market had a strong office-based culture. With COVID-19, WFH is likely to leave a deeper imprint in the Philippines than many other markets due to the need and desire to continue with remote working. However, infrastructure-related challenges unique to the Philippines like poorer-than-APAC-average-connectivity is a key obstacle.

Other key Filipino SMB findings from the survey include:

  • 66% of SMBs cited reliable network connectivity as a concern when supporting remote working.
  • Most businesses only refresh their laptops 3 years or longer. This means they are stuck with older models which actually increase business costs.
  • A large majority or 80% of Filipino SMBs provide their employees standard devices.
  • This contrasts with 68% of employees wanting to have a say in the allotment of their devices.
  • The Philippine market is among the top three in APAC that has a heavy focus on smartphones. Forward-thinking organizations are already planning to make additional technology investments in the next 24 months — 71% of businesses plan to increase their laptop investments by 2022.
  • Two-thirds, or 66%, of business owners surveyed in the Philippines are considering procuring laptop/desktop under a lease model, marginally lower than the Asia-Pacific average of 70%.
  • 79% of organizations in the Philippines use a laptop for web conferencing with a built-in camera and microphone, as compared to 74% in Asia-Pacific.

IDC advice

Considering the survey findings, IDC recommends that equipping employees with the latest devices that can support both a remote and hybrid work environment will have a significant impact not only on employee productivity and experience, but also will provide a competitive edge to organizations to attract and retain talent. To effectively transition to a hybrid work model and keep pace with remote working requirements, IDC recommends the following:

  1. Ensure employees have the right tools to do their job — Doing away with a one-size-fits-all strategy and adopting a more personalized approach to computing by offering employees the laptop of their choice, or based on computing needs, will help improve productivity and efficiency.
  2. Refresh laptops faster for better employee experience — Shorten refresh cycles of laptops to keep in step with work force requirements, as well as boost employee productivity and efficiency.
  3. Include laptops in as-a-service agreements — Give employees their choice in devices and move away from inflexible standardization policies. As-a-service model can also provide easy access to features previously found only in enterprise-grade, custom-developed devices.

ASUS means business

ASUS is dedicated to solving the unique challenges facing today’s small and medium businesses. ASUS wants to help SMBs and enterprise unlock innovation for customer and employee-centric experiences, as well as broadly upskill talent with a comprehensive product portfolio that includes laptops, desktops, AiO PCs, Chromebooks, and software to rebound from the pandemic and prepare for the future. To know more about their offering visit or send them a message at ASUS For Business (Philippines) Facebook Page.

Link to survey

o For further details, download the full IDC Info Brief here:

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o We welcome media to report on any other finding that is of interest.

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