Palace adviser says 4-day workweek, hybrid scheme not suited for all businesses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2022 08:16 PM

MANILA - An adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday the proposed four-day workweek or hybrid work scheme is not suitable for all types of businesses. 

The four-day workweek scheme was earlier floated as a possible option for businesses and workers to cushion the impact of rising fuel prices on the public. Proponents of the scheme said workers can render 40 hours of work per week over four 10-hour days, instead of five 8-hour shifts. 

The BPO industry meanwhile has asked the government to let them continue work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, and adopt a hybrid scheme where employees do not need to be in the office during the whole workweek. 

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion however said a four-day workweek for all types of businesses “might not be ideal as there are businesses that rely on regular work shifts to produce goods for consumers.”

“A four-day workweek may not be enough to produce the goods that the market needs or for businesses to stay afloat,” Concepcion said.

Imposing a four-day workweek for all businesses might disrupt workflows and affect costs, especially on businesses that rely on on-site work, he added.

Concepcion meanwhile said that while WFH or hybrid work schemes may be possible for white-collar jobs and even BPOs, it may not be suitable for workers in manufacturing plants, essential services, or those who handle physical goods.

“People who work in the factories, move goods, or perform services, they can’t do their work from home,” he said. 

He also said that many small businesses such as cafeterias and transportation serve employees in offices. People going back to their offices will spur economic activity among these MSMEs, he said. 

“I’m sure many will be open to the idea of a hybrid work-from-home arrangement, or for four-day workweeks, but we can’t have the same solution for everybody,” he said.

Fuel prices have risen sharply since the start of the year as economies reopened and oil demand picked up. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also stoked market anxieties leading to a further rise in prices. 

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