More Staff Return To Singapore’s CBD

More Staff Return To Singapore’s CBD

SINGAPORE – The lunchtime crowd has returned to the city-state’s central business district (CBD) as more staff resumed working in their office after the relaxation of workplace restrictions, reported The Straits Times on Monday evening (3 January, SGT).

“Lunch places like cafes were busier, and there were a bit more people in general walking around the CBD,” Roger Olofsson, Managing Director of Olofsson and Company told the news outlet.

However, “the crowds were smaller than pre-COVID levels, but being so used to empty lunch venues, there seems to be less socially distanced walking space compared to last year,” noted Jeremy Foo, Founder of public relations agency Elliot and Co.

He shared that 10 or 50 percent of the company’s employees returned to their workplace along Cecil Street on Monday. Those who reported to work also said that there were also more people using public transport.

Since the start of this year, half of a firm’s staff who can work from (WFH) are permitted to return to their workplace if they are completely inoculated or have recovered from COVID over the past 180 days.

But while unvaccinated workers are allowed to go to their office until 14 January 2022 as long as they have a negative pre-event test (PET) result, they need to be inoculated to do so after that period. Last year, working from home was the default between September and December.

Foo highlighted that workers who have returned to their office on Monday were elated to do so as they have missed seeing their colleagues in person, although apps like Zoom have made WFH a smooth experience.

“In the communications industry where collaborating is a big part of our work, nothing beats the ability to be physically connected in a workplace, to feel the camaraderie which comes from being beside each other in a physical space,” he explained.

Nonetheless, Foo doesn’t think that Elliot and Co’s staff will return to a full office set-up, as most staff seem to favour a hybrid working arrangement.

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