What Does “Work-Life Balance” Mean for Filipino Employees in the 2020s_

What Does “Work-Life Balance” Mean for Filipino Employees in the 2020s?

The beginning of the 2020s was certainly a wake-up call for many employers and alike. Thanks to the global pandemic, the Philippine jobs market and the surrounding culture will never be the same. Millions of workers and students were suddenly doing their usual tasks from home, rather than in the workplace or at school. This momentous shared experience will permanently change assumptions and expectations of what work is and where it can be done. 

The sudden changes in the lives of millions of Filipinos will certainly create an impression that will last throughout the decade and beyond. Regardless of whether one has kept, lost, or switched jobs in the past year, the fragility of the old ways of working — and living — has been made obvious to everyone.

Here are some ways the Filipino attitudes to work-life balance are likely to change in the coming decade:

A Shift From an Office-centered Culture

White-collar employees in the Philippines have long had access to technologies that would have made work-from-home arrangements possible. However, what was lacking was a willingness of baseline Filipino management culture to relinquish control as well as a reason to try a new way of working. While the number of workers working from home or with some other flexible arrangement grew through the 2010s, telecommuting did not fully become mainstream until the events of the 2020 Pandemic.

Workers that were lucky enough to have a work-from-home almost universally reported at least a few improvements in their work-life balance. Students have likewise started to find that it’s not always necessary to leave home to be productive, a realization that’s likely to stay with them when they begin joining the workforce.

While there will always be jobs that require a physical presence, in the coming decade it will be likely that at least some job seekers will gravitate towards jobs that offer more flexible working conditions.

More Challenges for Working Parents

Many parents in the workforce have, for better or worse, become reacquainted with their children because of the experiences of the pandemic. Working mothers, especially, often face challenges keeping up with their professional life while often taking more than their fair share of the responsibility of raising kids. Single parents may also tend to feel these issues more acutely. 

The challenges of working and simultaneously taking care of children at home have become even more intense with the pandemic. Parents who have to actively manage the upbringing of their children may find it harder to advance professionally, which may potentially be reflected in a demographic shift towards more singles in management and c-suite teams in the coming decade.

More Options for Remote Work

The pandemic won’t last forever, but telecommuting arrangements likely will. We are likely to see an increase in the number of so-called digital nomads as more places open up post-pandemic. Travel-hungry workers that can take advantage of their telecommuting arrangements are going to do so in droves, potentially boosting local tourism in the process.

Fewer Expectations of Being On-call at all Hours

Filipinos are known all over the world for being exceptionally hard workers. It’s not unusual for many to willingly do unpaid overtime simply due to their drive and because of social expectations. That said, there is now a much wider awareness of workers’ rights than in previous generations. More than previous generations, younger Filipinos expect to be fairly compensated, and that’s a good thing. Filipino employees are also increasingly adopting more individualistic and ambitious mindsets, which while arguably healthier, don’t leave much room for enriching someone else’s business for free.

A Focus on Advancement on One’s Own Terms

The global pandemic and accompanying economic downturn has forced many Filipinos to reassess their personal and professional lives. For many, a “steady job” working for someone else hasn’t worked out quite the way they were brought up to expect.

Because working for one employer for decades is now often equated with having reached a professional and personal dead-end, employees are more keen to define success under their own terms. This often means jumping to new job opportunities the moment they present themselves or starting one’s own business. For others, it may mean quitting their job to pursue a dream, even if it pays less. 

This puts some pressure on employers to do their part to offer an acceptable work-life balance for employees. The alternative to doing so would be to suffer high turnover rates and to miss out on hiring young, talented, and ambitious workers.

Thoughts

This early in the decade, it’s already clear that many of our older assumptions about achieving a good work-life balance have been upended forever. While the 2020s has had a bit of a rough start, all these changes in attitudes present a wealth of opportunities for employers, employees, and prospective jobseekers alike. Whether you choose to focus on reaching your personal goals or desire to help someone worthy achieve theirs, there’s plenty of room for everyone to be the best they can be.

Owner at Be Visible Media
Dale Basilla is a content writer for various niches, SEO (Off-page & On-Page), and lives in a location where there are lots of beaches in the Philippines. He loves to watch anime, TV series (mystery and solving crimes), and movies. In his spare time, he plays chess, plays the guitar, and spend time with his ever busy girlfriend.

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