What made you quit your previous job? Was it already toxic? Was the passion no longer there? Did you feel that there’s no more growth for you as a professional? Was the company unsteady or you just didn’t really like the office culture?
Working for a company is exactly like being in a relationship: you aim for the long haul; you want it to be the best place to work; you seek growth and opportunities; as you play your “A” game, you want to be rewarded with world-class benefits and compensation; and most of all, you want to feel valued and your relationship with your company be healthy, not just for your physical wellbeing but also for your mental health.
A few weeks ago, I was invited by a team from TaskUs to have a tour of their headquarters in Ortigas and its new office in Batangas City. TaskUs, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASK) is a provider of outsourced digital services and next-generation customer experience to fast-growing technology companies.
The tour coincided with Global Employee Health and Fitness Month celebration.
Before we began the site tour, I asked Kris Mandap, the site VP in Ortigas, what kind of image would they like people to know them for. He said, “We want people to see us as a company that cares for its employees.”
Sure, that’s a general statement and any important member of a business organization can simply drop that cliche. But what does taking care of company employees really mean? That, I would find out as we proceeded with the tour.
TaskUs has built a reputation for having some of the best office space in the industry. The company creates a unique theme for each office, meant to inspire creativity, engagement, and wellbeing.
Take “Phoenix,” TaskUs’s site in Ortigas, for example. Phoenix, which serves as the company’s new headquarters in the Philippines, has floors designed with augmented reality-inspired elements, reflecting how TaskUs values people and cutting-edge technologies to create excellent customer support experience and innovation.
Teammates working at Phoenix can take advantage of the daycare, sleeping pods, gaming and multimedia space, massage chairs, and more.
Apart from a gym, the site will also have a space dedicated for teammates to do exercises such as yoga, boxing, and dancing, among others. It also has an in-house clinic and a psychologist’s office.
Ortigas, known as Metro Manila’s second-largest business district and the breeding ground for outsourcing for the past two decades, places Phoenix as an ideal location to find top-tier talent. Being at the center of the metro, it is accessible to different residential areas and transportation hubs, allowing for an easier daily commute and more personal and family time for teammates.
“Atlantis,” TaskUs’ site in Batangas, on the other hand, is inspired by an underwater paradise, reflective of the province’s beaches, coves, and rich marine biodiversity.
Aside from being known as a natural hotspot for tourists, the province of Batangas is also home to fresh talent from 13 major universities and 12 colleges—six of which are located within a 10-kilometer radius of Atlantis. Despite being in a non-metro location, it can be easily accessed by public transportation as Atlantis is located near the city’s bus terminal and international port.
According to Bryce Maddock, TaskUs Co-Founder and CEO, the company investment in its office space is based on the belief that happy and resilient employees are more agile, flexible, and focused.
The company has begun to bring most of its employees back to the office while leaving specific programs working from home.
“We put the people doing jobs for our clients at the center of everything that what we do. We have world-class benefits on site. We also have on-site childcare facility and we give our employees free lunch every single day. We just ask them to make a small donation of 5 to 10 pesos and we pull that amount and donate it to local charities,” the executive told the author.
“Our teammates are the bedrock of our organization,” added Maddock, who visited the Philippines for the first time since the pandemic and TaskUs going public. “Individually our teammates are great, but united, together, in the office we are unstoppable. This is why we build the coolest offices in the industry. We want our people to be excited to come to work.”
The majority of TaskUs offices across the country are strategically located in non-metro areas, including La Union, Bulacan, Bohol, Pampanga, Antipolo, and Batangas, to promote work-life balance. Even for sites located in NCR, offices are creatively designed, have close proximity to both residential and commercial areas, and are easily accessible—all of which contribute to providing employees a higher quality of life.
“We continue to evaluate our footprint to the demand of our clients. If you look at our footprint here in the Philippines and our footprint across the world, you see that we purposely go into tier-two cities or cities that don’t have a lot of competition,” said COO Stephan Daoust.
“People have to travel countless hours just to get to the office. And that’s a burden that we don’t want our employees to have to go through so we go to the local market where there’s excellent talent, excellent infrastructure, and we have the capability of hiring thousands of people that are just happy to have to travel 15 minutes rather than having to travel 2 to 4 hours,” Daoust elaborated.
Maddock first came to the Philippines in May of 2009 and opened an office in Cavite. What started with five employees working at an office along Aguinaldo Highway for busy startups in the United States has grown into 45,000 global employees, 30,000 of which are working in the Philippines.
And paraphrasing what the company’s head honcho said, “It’s been good business!”
To retain good business and ensure continuous growth, the company also invests heavily in employee benefits, and we are not just talking about the pecuniary matter. TaskUs offers its employees comprehensive training and career development in able for them to grow their careers. They have developed a program called The Academy where people can take some time to learn new roles and new skills. But apart from enhancing their skills, the company recognizes the kind of stress working in a dynamic environment can bring.
“We do a lot of work that are stressful. Professional life can be very stressful and in our business, we support clients that are in stressful situations. We want to build a company that cares for its frontline teammates and helps them to grow. And that is not only the right thing to do but it’s good business. It’s good business because employees that burn out don’t generally come back to work,” Maddock shared.
“It’s a win-win situation for us. We have a team of over a hundred mental health professionals that work for TaskUs and they do just an amazing job doing group wellness sessions one to one counseling sessions. It’s great business because it means our employees are more engaged and more capable of doing their job,” he carried on.
Complementing Maddock’s statement, Vina Paglicawan, the company’s director of Wellness & Resiliency, said that studies prove that engagement leads to retention.
“Our retention is also best-in-class in this industry. We live the value of employee first or people first. People first is at the core of everything that we do. It’s not an afterthought. It’s really the first question we ask ourselves, what does it mean to our employees,” Paglicawan stated.
Just like any other companies in the Philippines and around the globe, TaskUs was confronted by the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
But with its preparedness and business continuity plans perfectly in place, they can only look forward with better wisdom and confidence.
“One of the greatest things coming to the Philippines or going to any of our sites around the world is spending time with teammates. Our work gets stressful, and it was particularly stressful during the pandemic. Going into the site, walking the floor, sitting down with teammates, and hearing their stories remind us why we do what we do,” Maddock ended underscoring why their employees serve as the company backbone and why they are always at the center of what they do as a business organization.
TaskUs is present in nine locations across the Philippines. Across the globe, it has a total of 23 sites in 12 countries including the United States, India, Europe, Japan, and Malaysia. To learn more about TaskUs, visit https://www.taskus.com.