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To hell with the flexibility!?

We live in the changing times, where technological innovation and uncertainty towards future bring huge changes. Necessity to react fast becomes more and more important.

These changes will have a great impact also on the employment market. Long term planning we used to do in the past will come to an end – additions have to be taken fast and immediately. Key to winning in this competitive environment will be capability to use flexible resources including workforce. Companies will hire people for shorter terms and just-in-time. Flexibility will be extreme and beyond what we can imagine today.

Peoples’ expectations have also changed. Desire for flexible working models, control over your own work and time and balance between work and personal life become increasingly important.

This said, I am surprised to see the legislators incapable to cope with these changes and joining under the flag of „security“ passing laws that make the employment market even more rigid and regulated. „To hell with the flexibility – we now better what you need and desire“- attitude has become a norm.

How else to explain the following discussions, held in the parliament of Estonia:

  • What would be the best way to assure, that companies can be flexible and hire just-in-time staff faster and easier? To pass a bill that will oblige companies to register employees prior to assignment, putting additional administrational and bureaucratic obligations to employers read more about this
  • How to cope with the increasing youth unemployment and give the new generation opportunities to gain valuable working experience? To limit the ways young people can work and make it more difficult and rigid for employers to hire them read more about this
  • The most absurd example of „I know best what you need and what is good for you“ comes from France – banning work e-mails after 6pm read more about this

Old-fashioned understanding, that working is good only from 9-17, 5 days a week serve as a basis for these initiatives.

For your information, legislators, there is an increasing number of individuals who want to choose themselves where, when and how they work. Some like sleeping until 11 o’clock in the morning or take a nap during the day, but work longer in the evening. Some feel creative and innovative in the middle of the night.

Instead of saying to hell with the flexibility, we should seek for solutions that take these differences into account.

In the changing world, where expectations and needs differ, we should prioritize the opportunities we give people, so they could choose themselves how and when they work and what is the most suitable working model for them.