SENATORS were one in saying that the government must now consider allowing hybrid work arrangements in the country to thrive in promoting economic growth.
Senator Grace Poe during a hybrid plenary session in her privilege speech said, “ Hybrid work is not a radical, futuristic idea whose time is yet to come. It is an old friend knocking on our door.”
The senator noted that some companies still allocate cubicles to which employees must routinely report. However, technological advancements have made work more mobile, she said.
Unfortunately, Poe said such innovations have not led to “liberation from the tyranny of the cubicle.” She added:
“We should push back on agencies who refuse to think ‘outside the cubicle…’ Let’s work together to turn work into something that we do, not something we only need to go to. We work to live, not live to work and die. “ she said
For Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, these alternative work arrangements, including work-from-home schemes will help unburden more workers from unnecessary travel and time constraints, while also balancing the effects of telecommuting on the economy.
“We are here to serve the best interests of our people and if our fellow citizens do not have jobs, their lives will be harder. If we are not sensitive with what’s going on around us, and not getting ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the more it will be harder for us,” Villanueva said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Villanueva, who authored Republic Act (RA) No. 11165, otherwise known as the Telecommuting Law, and RA No. 11927 or the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act, vowed to continue supporting Filipino workers as he filed Senate Bill Nos. 134 (Adoption of Alternative Work Arrangements Act), 135 (Alternative Work Arrangements in Enterprises Act) and 136 (Freelancers Protection Act), among others.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Loren Legarda commends Sen. Grace Poe for proposing on the need for a hybrid work arrangement.
Legarda said she believes that the future of work would allow a more flexible arrangement whether it would be called flexi place, compressed work week, skeleton force, work shifting or a combination of schemes. She said reports had shown that a flexible work policy creates a more adaptable work environment and a highly adaptive team.
“A flexible working environment has shown to decrease stress, boost levels of job satisfaction and help employees maintain healthier habits. This flexible working environment should apply not just in selected government agencies but more so in the private sector,” Legarda said. PS Jun M. Sarmiento & Camille P. Balagtas