Wed | Mar 20, 2019

Growth & Jobs | Dr Eric Deans says nine to five jobs are redundant

Published:Tuesday | February 19, 2019 | 12:16 AM

A panel of professionals in the business and finance sector agreed recently that having a flexi-work arrangement in place could increase innovation in Jamaica.

The discussion took place during the UK in Jamaica Trade Fair, held at the British High Commission in New Kingston with major support from The Jamaica National Group, recently. The talks centred on: Encouraging Growth and Better Business through Innovation: Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward.

“If you’re doing business with the UK, the UK is six hours ahead. If you stay in your nine to five, you miss half the opportunity of engaging your partners in Europe. When you talk about China, China is 12 hours ahead. When you are sleeping they’re working,” argued Dr Eric Deans, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Economic Zones Authority, in response to a question from the audience about instituting flexi-work arrangements to support innovation.

“So to take advantage of the opportunities, this business of nine to five is redundant. You have to be available 24 hours,” he emphasised.

Dr Dana Morris Dixon, chief marketing and business advisory services at The Jamaica National Group, says government does not always look to the future and understand global realities, therefore, the private sector needs to lead the way.

DIFFERENT TIME ZONES

“For us at the JN Group, we have businesses in Canada, USA and the UK, hence our call centre and treasury need to operate in those time frames,” she related.

“Therefore, if I am going to attract young creative people, they don’t want to sit in an office nine to five; therefore, to be an employer of choice, we need to look at our own organisation’s policies and structures, to attract the labour that we require,” Dr Morris Dixon underscored.

British High Commissioner, His Excellency Asif Ahmad CMG, said consumers also need to set the pace for how they want to do business.

“In the UK something as simple as seeing your doctor is being re-engineered, because traditionally doctors provided a service when you can least be at the surgery. So weekends, evenings, early mornings- these patterns are changing,” he said.

“It’s the consumer power that will determine how businesses and government innovate and change. So I think we are pushing against an open door,” he concluded.