Singapore To Allow More Workers To Return To Their Office Today
SINGAPORE – Following last week’s announcement that the government would ease workplace restrictions if the COVID-19 situation improves, the authorities have confirmed that it has relaxed workplace restrictions, reported The Straits Times on Thursday morning (19 August, SGT).
Starting today (19 August), working from home (WFH) is no longer the default work arrangement. Instead, up to 50 percent of staff who are able to work remotely are now permitted to return to their workplace.
However, most employers believe hybrid work arrangements would persist even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, including Singapore’s government, which is the biggest employer in the country.
“Singapore’s Public Service is working towards supporting greater work flexibility in the post-COVID new normal,” a representative from the government agency told The Straits Times.
Similarly, Law firm Dentons Rodyk shared that it intends to permit its staff to work from home for a fixed number of days per week, and its workers will have more flexible reporting times.
Multinational bank DBS said it plans to give its workers the option to telecommute up to 40 percent of the time. In addition, DBS and security provider Certis are redesigning their office space to foster collaboration, as this is one thing that is difficult to accomplish while working from home.
Meanwhile, Food and facilities management company Sodexo revealed that it is assisting businesses implement return-to-work perks.
These include giving relatively basic incentives like free snacks and office meals to more lavish perks like having baristas in the workplace once per week.
“These incentives support employee engagement, allowing people to re-establish social connections they might have lost over the past 18 months,” added Jessica Carr, Managing Director at Sodexo’s in-house workplace consultancy Wx.