Strong drive for entrepreneurship

Strong drive for entrepreneurship

/ 04:35 AM February 28, 2024
Strong drive for entrepreneurship-28feb2024

For an increasing number of Filipino Gen X-ers and millennials, working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the office as a way to make a living just won’t do anymore. They would rather strike out on their own as an entrepreneur or stay employed in companies that offer flexible work hours.

These were among the key findings of a recent study by HMO provider PhilCare on the values, priorities, and attitudes of Filipinos from Generation X (43-58 years old) and Millennials or Generation Y (27-42) and the evolving dynamics of the modern workplace.

According to the study, some 53 percent of the respondents from both age groups that comprise the bulk of today’s workforce said they would rather start their own business than stay as employees.


Formal economy

The strong desire for entrepreneurship is a welcome development, which the government should champion. Increasing the ranks of entrepreneurs will mean more opportunities to grow the national economy and increase employment.


This can be nurtured by, again, making it easy for them to set up and operate their enterprises. Strengthening one-stop shops so they can easily get their business permits should be a priority, especially since these are entrepreneurs that the government will want to be brought into the formal economy so they can pay the right taxes, rather than stay underground.

The government can also take its cue from the results of an earlier survey. It said that small entrepreneurs need help securing affordable capital so they can either set up or expand their small enterprises. They also desire mentorship and additional knowledge so they can improve and make their enterprises more profitable.

Flexible work hours

These budding entrepreneurs, however, will be discouraged from embracing the formal economy if they are squeezed by fixers and unscrupulous bureaucrats just when they are starting out, snuffing out their chances of making it big even before they get their businesses off the ground.As for those who want to stay employed, the PhilCare study also said that some 38 percent said they preferred flexible work arrangements over a fixed office schedule.

And it is not the desire for more money that is the primary driving force behind this shift in preferences, but rather the yearning for the freedom to chart their own course.

“The result suggests a growing desire for autonomy and ownership, a desire to create something that they will be proud of in years to come,” said PhilCare Wellness Index chair Dr. Enrique Ona.

Having flexible work hours has also emerged as a major factor that figures into decisions on whether to work for or stay with a particular company, and not just among the new entrants to the workforce but also those from the earlier generations.


Work-life balance

After all, the work-from-home arrangements that companies were forced to adopt during the pandemic demonstrated that productivity did not suffer, but even increased for many corporations and organizations as staff members were more motivated to produce results.

Indeed, the hybrid setup that combined at-work and at-home days made employees more loyal to their employers since they could better balance their work life with their other interests that they can do either at home or anywhere else where there is a stable internet connection.

Saving themselves the long commuting hours and expenses on gasoline, food, and even parking also add to the allure of work-from-home or hybrid work arrangements.

“The shift in mindset of Gen X and Y signals a departure from the traditional 9-to-5 structure, with both generations seeking greater control over their schedules. This demand for flexibility underscores the importance of prioritizing health, well-being, and work-life balance,” said PhilCare Wellness Index lead researcher Dr. Fernando Paragas.

War for prized talent

These findings jibe with the findings of an earlier study by consulting firm McKinsey and Co. which said that companies that can successfully implement a hybrid work arrangement will be able to attract and retain top talent as well as improve productivity of their workforce.

Given the findings, any business or organization that wants to keep their people or win the war for prized talent should consider providing flexible work arrangements and the environment for them to have greater control over their work while staying employed and therefore contribute to the organization’s set goals.

“To cater to the needs of Gen X and Y, for extended careers, employers may need to reevaluate their career development programs. This may involve creating pathways for continuous learning, mentorship, opportunities, and phased retirement plans that align with the two generations’ professional journey,’’ PhilCare president and CEO Jaegar Tanco said.

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Clearly, the workplace has evolved. Employees have changed. Employers should consider changing, too, if they want to keep their people and stay competitive over the long haul.

TAGS: business, entrepreneurship, opinion

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