Flexibility in the workplace is more in demand than ever before. This is a well-established fact globally but we need to accept that the need is equally there in Sri Lanka as well.
Mothers/fathers have to take care of their kids, Daughters/Sons have to take care of their aging parents. This is the expectation engraved in our culture. With the maids and nannies being scares now and grandparents being too elderly or equally occupied to support with child caring and with no formal structures or procedures for establishing regulated external child care and adult care facilities, there basically is no other option for the Sri Lankan employee.
The economic conditions today are such that most families depend on two incomes. Two incomes are needed to make ends meet or to ensure that there is future financial stability. This doesn’t allow for one parent to stay at home to care for the kids. So what other choices are there.
Sri Lanka has been experiencing brain drain for quite a while now. This has been impacting the local business world and effecting the local economy. Why do young professionals leave for countries such as Australia, US, UK? They are looking for modern opportunities, financial security and better work-life balance.
The dynamics have changed to an extent where flexibility is as important (or even more in some cases) than the salary for employees. There is bound to be a great percentage of employees today in Sri Lanka who will happily take a pay cut or some reduction in benefits in exchange for some flexibility at work.
It’s time for the Sri Lankan organizations to open their eyes and to starting thinking outside the box. They need to embrace work flexibility and reap its benefits. Work flexibility is here to stay and the sooner we get on board the better for this country.