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Better than 4-day work week

“A generous person will be rich. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” – Proverbs 11:25

I call it “Inclusive Development”: An intentional act to include and give value and importance to things that can be beneficial to your workers and employees within your development projects such as malls, commercial centers or new cities.

Instead of beating the dead horse called the 4-day work week, why not encourage, incentivize, or pass legislation that would require developers of commercial complexes or malls to incorporate the construction of low cost dorms or flats that wage earners can rent cheaper than the time and transportation cost involved for them to commute twice a day! These are not intended as permanent abodes or family homes but dorms or one-person flats similar in concept but not quite the capsule hotels or pods of Japan. You either have 4-person rooms with bunk beds like a dorm or single units for those with a little more to spend. These “inclusive” facilities also becomes a starter lifestyle that employees can embrace, and jump start them to higher aspirations or goals such as owning their own low cost condo – units in the future.

We have already reached the point where many students and office workers are opting to rent flats instead of wasting time and money commuting. The four-day work week will never be acceptable to daily wage earners but if we as a society force developers and business owners to “Level-Up” by investing on low cost rentals for their own work force, what we end up with is “Inclusive Development.” I have talked to so many mall employees and regular working people and they all talk about the lack of affordable rentals that they would rather pay for instead of travel 3 to 4 hours a day. Unfortunately, dorms and low cost rentals are not an attractive business or investment because of the high real estate prices.

But imagine for instance if the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) allocated a hectare or more or satellite locations of smaller land area strictly for low cost / “employees only” rentals and a majority of BGC employees opted to rent units, those same employees would be better rested, save energy if not money while their employers can be share holder – investors in low cost rentals. Let’s be clear when I say Low Cost, I refer to the cost to rent and not low cost to construct!!!

At this point in our history and economy, only big companies have the credit lines, capitalization and reason to invest in low cost rentals on location or nearer to their offices and places of business. San Miguel, the Ayala Group, SM/Henry Sy and the rest of the corporations who hire by the thousands would directly benefit from such an idea. The one attraction for would-be-investor-developers is that it’s not a give away to employees, it will generate income, it’s long term and it is a source for cash flow. The best part is that it is all about “Inclusive Development.” Why let all that money which runs into millions all go up in fumes, sweat and spent energy day after day when it can be turned into profit as well as happy employees.  Remember: “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

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“Do not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6: 9

From time to time a well meaning friend or consummate professional (someone who always charges full price for professional fees) would counsel me not to be shy about charging people for my time, services and even my advice because there are bills to be paid and a family to look after. Yes, they have a point but there are also times and situations when “Friendship” comes first, when supporting someone is just as important as supporting your self, or when those in need of your professional services simply don’t have the means to pay professional fees. There are also those occasions when our investment in others mean they will eventually pass it on or pay it forward.

And sometimes, you come into a season when the cows come home and it’s your turn to be helped and that’s when you remember the wise counsel of Galatians 6: 9. Last week those words came to fulfillment as so many friends rallied with prayers, going out of their way and visiting at NKTI just to pray over our mother Marita, and coming up with ways and means to share our burden. I will not deny that once or twice I privately broke down in tears not in sadness but in witnessing how GOD used so many people, both friends in real life as well as “Virtual Reality” via Facebook to tell us: “I Got This.”

Even the podcasts and readings I would go through aligned along the same reassurance of God’s grace, provision and the compassion of people, some of whom I have not seen in a while. Two special friends turned out to be facing their own challenges in terms of medical problems yet there they were working behind the lines sending out smoke signals to send help. I thank God that from time to time he gave me the wisdom not to put a price tag on certain things because in doing so I did not realize I was planting seeds of friendships and not bills for clients. Truth be told, none of my past clients made their presence felt and that’s all good because the relationship was transactional. On the other hand, those I engaged on a “relational” basis, those are the ones that showed up or sent up prayers or sent help. God is never limited to a “Cash Only” economy. He uses his people to bless his people.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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