The Need for Human Capital and Psychological Support
As an agency of around 50 people that relies on innovation and new ideas, many of Thecon’s employees are students. They live in campus dormitories in close proximity to the company's spaces, which carries considerable weight over both organizational sustainability and performance and highlights conflicting priorities. This work-from-home agenda has blurred the boundaries between the employees’ personal and professional lives where students with side jobs are being hit hard by the demanding, if not consuming, responsibilities of both their academic institutions and companies. As many people find it hard to meet the demand of the intersection between academic achievement and professional performance to make a living, the results are severe psychological and organizational repercussions that rarely have a quick and effective solution. This double-duty has considerable influence over an individual's personal and professional performance, which in turn cab impact the organization and its overall performance.
Call to Action: Stimulate University-MSMEs Collaboration
The governments can address two problems caused by the double burden by creating strategic partnerships with the most affected MSMEs, including Thecon, to provide internship opportunities where the performance of students on the job will be counted against their academic credits at university. In a few words, it means no double burden from studying and part-time jobs. This gives opportunities to students who are willing to learn by doing. On the other side, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Romania could provide leadership workshops for training & development Initiatives for MSMEs.
Sustainability of the Organization
The decrease in morale poses a considerable threat to organizational culture and sustainability. As a company providing various services, the principle of client orientation will be difficult to uphold when the company lacks knowledge regarding consumer behavior, market trends, government regulations, and competitors’ behavior.
On the other hand, Thecon is also working on a new product to be sold in the future as its contingency plan. While it will bring forth the intersection of both goods and services, organizational culture remains as one of the biggest determinants of its sustainability and credibility.
Call to Action: Provide Leadership Training to MSMEs
Government and the public sector can forge strategic alliances with management consulting firms to provide certified leadership programs to MSMEs. Independently of government, intergovernmental organizations could assign or recommend business consultants to the most affected businesses in every country.
Students with side jobs are not only trying to make a living, but not to confine themselves to the intellectual boundaries of the major they chose at their university. They are giving the “double duty” the benefit of the doubt to enhance not only their intellectual freedom but their emotional intelligence and professional skills. Governments can help students and businesses accommodate the interests of both parties.
Written by Aulia Shifa Hamida is an Undergraduate Public Administration Student at Universitas Indonesia.
Edited by Isabella White