‘Mama won’t let me’
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2019 - 12:00am

There was a time when living at “home,” meaning with your parents, was free. But for many millennial workers or employees, such perks are no longer as attractive if it means daily commutes of two to four hours a day, costly transportation fares or gas prices not to mention exorbitant parking fees and the biggest trade off, not getting enough real rest at the end of the day. More and more millennials are now coming to terms with the need to relocate to places nearer their office. A number of them are now sharing flats or condos paying around P3,000 to P4,000 each to meet the average rent and utilities of P12,000 to P14,000 a month. It’s usually shared with 3 or 4 persons most of whom have different work hours in the same company or various companies.

With an abundance if not glut of available condo units, millennials have no problem finding a flat to share. Their biggest challenge especially females is actually getting “permission” or approval from their parents who can’t face up to separation anxiety or deal with the anxiety that comes with such arrangements. Ironically, this “separation from abode” is probably one of the best things that could happen to our children nowadays. Many millennials who’ve made the decision to “relocate” all say that the money they pay for rent is well worth every centavo since they can take time and not rush going to work or back to their pads. They get to do many other things in their condo or apartment instead of being stuck in a car, cab or grab car or bus, mindlessly passing time listening to iTunes or Spotify. All in all, it’s not really about saving money but actually being rested and having a better quality of life.

What many of them don’t realize until you point it out is that the “relocation” changes people. It causes a transformation of sort and ultimately results in individuals “growing up,” becoming more matured in their interactions and finally becoming independent. Some parents realizing their children’s need to relocate have compromised via a “slow transition” that involves really studying the “relocation site,” the people their child will be sharing facilities with, and finally making arrangements for a slow separation where the millennial starts by spending a night or two away from home and then three and then four until parents get used to the idea, or feel more comfortable letting their kids go. Yes separation can be difficult for everyone but in a grown up world that demands being practical as well as tactical, we all have to find strategies and ways on how to cope in order to have “Work-Life Balance.”

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While discussing strategies that employees and employers can adapt toward efficiency as well as work-life balance during an episode of AGENDA on Cignal TV, I suggested to our panelists of human resource experts, a congressman and executive director of the Employers Confederation, that business owners who have a hundred or more employees should invest in building or buying condominium studios or flats that their employees can either rent long term or on a lease-to-own basis with special terms as their employees. This seems like a practical idea because their employees will spend the salaries paid out by business owners and employers for daily commute or rental nearby to someone else, why not to employer/investors or employer/landlords? Why let that entire secondary income end up in the hands of developers or real estate investors when it can go into a long-term benefit for both employees and employers?

Our HR experts all confessed that they are struggling at finding, hiring and retaining employees because travel or commute has now become a deal breaker for applicants. Unlike in the past decades when it was “An Employers Market,” today’s millennial applicants are more assertive about what’s good for them as “associates” or “partners” in companies. While pay scales have become increasingly competitive, the added perks such as travel, training and possibly housing will certainly catch more fish than just mere salaries. There will be an initial push back about investing money on housing but employers and business owners must bear in mind that they have a captured market of tenant/buyers who by relocating near to the office would benefit the company, and the rental or purchases of housing units create an additional business or income stream.

Ironically, I had to use the real life example where construction firms come into areas with hundreds of workers to build projects such as townships. But after a couple of years living in temporary shanties, the workers become so familiar with the area that they end up becoming settlers or squatters. They relocate their families, spend their money on the local transport, stores and establishments that support or create a local economy. Building for your own people is a blessing, providing the commercial service is profit for the company. While many entrepreneurs are going nuts in search of “Sure things” or that one great idea, many employers and corporations only see “Employees” where I see Tenants and clients. If you want your money to continue working for you, don’t terminate the relationship by losing money as salary. Create the circle of good and the circle of wealth and keep it within the company and your employees who become direct beneficiary of their own hard work!

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Email: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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