Staff accommodation

all employees are equal... but some are more equal than others...taking a nap… in a card board box.

All resorts in Maldives with very few exceptions are self contained islands where from electricity to water and food to everything else is either produced or supplied by the island and self sustained in a manner quite unique. So is the case with staff who are lodged in staff accommodation blocks mostly in inconspicuous places in the middle or corner of the island while the guests have their villas spread across the lagoon or beach or both. With restrictions to limit built-up area, most resorts do indeed have a problem of staff accommodation which might range from staff having to share 6 or 8 or even 10 in an average sized room to having to stack beds 3 or 4 rows vertically up! Besides the fun of having to live in these conditions and the constant pressure from the superiors at work to perform ever so better and greater on and off duty, at the end of the day the tired and worn out staff would again have to face another adventurous night and the monotony continues.
The few lucky resorts who have dedicated staff islands or arrangements to accommodate staff on nearby inhabited islands fare somewhat better being able to provide some job satisfaction in this area for the staff. One another real big issue in staff accommodation seems to be is disparity in quality of accommodation despite terrible limitations of land whereby the all powerful management gets pavilions and mansions sometimes better accommodation than the guests.
Ideally all resort employees shall have private rooms by themselves however scantily the furnishing should have been. Alternatively the same job satisfaction could be delivered if regular staff ferries from resort to Male’ could be arranged so that the local staff would have maximum time with their families and yet be able to work in the resort. This would apply to the majority of the resort islands closer to Male’ and to the majority of the local staff who by law are required to constitute half the population of any resort.

Boat pass? what boat pass?

Although standard procedure in many resorts in Maldives, the practice of issuing boat pass to staff visiting Male’ is a questionable one. First lets look a the reasons why there shall be a need for boat pass. In different resorts this issue is differently treated as the situation demands it. For example in some resorts in Maldives staff ferry dhonis do take on board locals from nearby islands who wish to go to Male’ as a ferry dhoni may not be readily available on their island. In some resort islands this is no matter at all, everyone is free to go and come as one wishes whilst beknown to his or superior. The most common reason for boat pass would be the requirement to know by the resort as to the actual headcount of the people of the island at any given time. This is about logistics and properly so. Such information becomes invaluable at times. However the requirement to obtain signature and approval from the management to go to visit family members in Male’ or etc on a hard earned off day is basically infringement on the right to freedom of movement. Because what one does in his or her free time shall be no one’s business (much less that of the employer) and this question of boat pass wouldn’t have been a question had Maldives been one land mass like the majority of the world’s countries. Therefore a feature of a country’s geography shall not be a reason to be big-brotherly and preside even on the staff off day. So the practice of obtaining and granting “permission” or “approval” shall be put to debate and acceptable language sought. Here are one suggestion:

+ There shall be no signatures on the pass except that of the security officer or boat captain which is acknowledgment… not “approval” or “disapproval” or “permission” etc.