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  • Pinoy Parents Are The Biggest Losers Of Traffic. Is The 4-Day Workweek The Answer?

    Will a four-day workweek work in the Philippines?
    by Fe Esperanza Trampe .
Pinoy Parents Are The Biggest Losers Of Traffic. Is The 4-Day Workweek The Answer?
PHOTO BY iStock
  • If you had the choice to squeeze an entire week’s worth of work into just four days, would you take it?

    That is the question on a lot of parents’ minds after Microsoft Japan reported the success of its four-day work week experiment. In August of 2019, the tech company gave its employees five consecutive Fridays off without decreasing their pay. The result? A 40% increase in overall productivity.

    The news gave a boost to those in the Philippines who are hoping a reduced work week will happen soon. The possibility of a four-day work week was floated as early as 2017 when the House of Representatives approved the proposal of a bill for a reduced work week.

    In this bill, a four-day work week means a working schedule of up to 12 hours a day instead of eight, but with an extra day off (or a long weekend).

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    Imagine an entire additional and uninterrupted 24 hours for you and your family. When you’re a parent, three days of quality time with your child can mean so much.

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    But with 12 hours a day of work, what can it mean for a typical Filipino’s work day when we all know traffic has gone from bad to worse? If you add the extra hours you must render to gain that day off, will you still be able to go home? 

    The moments you spend with your child are priceless. But these days the sacrifices you make to capture those moments come at a cost.

    Working mom Louise recalls spending almost six hours a day on the road when she was working in the Bonifacio Global City area. She had to spend nights at the office, and leave her son in the care of another.

    When you’re single and live close to your place of work, saying yes to a 4-day work week is a no-brainer. When you’re a parent, there are so many factors you have to take into consideration.

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    “Parenting cannot be delegated,” says Louise. “It’s important to be there to check on your child every day, even when you have a yaya or a relative to help you out.”

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    Louise’s decision to combat the loss of quality time with her family was to work from home. She says she advocates for a four-day work week IF it’s up to the parent to decide how to take it on, so she have a semblance of work-life balance on her terms.

    With the traffic situation in the Philippines, a compressed work week may not be healthy for the ordinary worker. We are all human beings, after all.

    It’s the reduced work week that can possibly be a gamechanger. After all, studies show that hours spent at the office do not necessarily equate to hours worked.

    Happy wife, happy life, or so they say. In the context of a working parent, this too applies.

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    Happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers make happy companies.

    That happy employee might just be the working parent who gets to be both the professional they worked so hard to become, and the mom or dad they were always born to be.

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