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The BPO Industry

The Growth of the BPO Industry

The Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry has been growing tremendously over the past decade. The sector has tripled its share of the global BPO industry from 4% in 2004 to 12% in 2014. By 2020, it is expected to further increase its share to 19%. This really makes the Philippines the BPO capital of the world.

In 2014, total revenues in the Philippine BPO industry was $18.4 billion — 6 per cent of GDP — employing 1.03 million people. The road map for 2011—2016 prepared by the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) forecasts that by 2016 the BPO industry will reach a target of $25 billion in revenues (7.3 per cent of GDP) — matching the economic contribution of OFW remittances — and employ 1.3 million people.

The industry Roadmap to 2022 as outlined by IBPAP targets 1.8 million directly employed in the industry and another 5.8 million indirectly employed through related industries.

The BPO Industry and its Impact to the Filipino Family

It is no surprise that compensation in the Philippine BPO sector is substantially higher than the average wage in the rest of the economy. As the BPO industry grows, increasing employment and compensation will have a positive impact to the BPO agents and their families.

BPO agents are depended on by their families—they send their siblings to school, put food on the table and are able to improve their families’ overall lifestyle

Health and Well-Being in the BPO Industry

But working in the industry also presents some risks. On average, BPO agents in contact centers take 78 calls per day. Agents must respond to at least 91 per cent of these calls within 22 seconds, and then are given 5–6 minutes to address clients’ requests.

Employees often suffered from health problems such as headache, fatigue, eye strain, chest and back pain and voice problems. Night work can cause disruptions in employees’ work-life balance and affect their psychological well-being. Harassment from irate clients was the prime cause of stress among the surveyed BPO employees, and the main factor in their decision to leave. These are also risk factors to more serious health conditions.

Despite this, BPO agents realize that they cannot get sick and miss a day of work. How then can we improve the health and wellbeing of every BPO agent?