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“Working from home no longer default in Singapore” – Here are your next steps!

Many companies in Singapore shifted to remote working when the circuit breaker measures began in April 2020. It was the first time many companies had implemented remote working or some form of workplace flexibility arrangement. As the circuit breaker measures started to ease, many companies began to fine-tune their ways of working whilst still observing the safety measures in place by the Singapore Government.

With the Government’s move from the current default mode of working from home towards a more flexible approach from April 2021, we have listed a few ideas to get you started on planning the next phase of your working arrangements.

Step One: Reflect on your current ways of working

Reflect on your company’s ways of working for the past year. What are the areas that worked well, and what are the opportunities? It’s important to gather feedback from your employees on their experience as well. If you’re new to survey tools in HR, try online survey tools like Google Forms, Typeform, or Survey Monkey to run a short survey to understand how things are going today.

Tips on running your feedback survey:

  • Run the survey anonymously to collect genuine and honest feedback.

  • Create targeted surveys for People Managers and Team Members, understand their respective pain points and address them collaboratively.

  • Spread the word! Share the reason behind the survey and provide reminders throughout the survey collection period (about one week).

  • Communicate the results! Explain how employees’ voices influence your policy writing process. They’ll be more motivated to share more in future!

  • Collect feedback periodically. You can start by running an independent survey to collect feedback and ideas for your pilot launch and eventually integrate it into your regular employee engagement survey. All the different touchpoints build your overall Employee Experience.

Step Two: Make remote working a breeze

Undeniably, some form of remote or hybrid working is here to stay. It has been tested (and likely proven) that remote working, works! You have probably updated your remote working policy a couple of times by now. Although various safety measures likely pushed the previous updates, this next wave of changes should be focused on optimising the remote or hybrid working experience. So, what can you do to maximise your remote or hybrid working culture?

  • Empower your People Managers The current working arrangement may have been observed strictly based on a split team arrangement. But flexibility is essential in a remote or hybrid working environment. Empower your People Managers to manage their team’s remote working schedule whilst remaining compliant. After all, they are your subject matter experts when it comes to knowing what works for the team whilst meeting the business needs.

  • Digitise and provide the necessary tools Who would have thought that the old ‘Expense Form´ can now retire for good with the brand new and shiny cloud-based expense portal? What are the workflows that can now be digitised? Focus on reviewing your existing processes and prioritise digitisation efforts based on the effort and impact of the change.

  • Employee wellbeing is key As everyone is adjusting to the new norm, we need to recognise that every individual reacts to changes differently. We have listed 6 easy to implement tips to improve your Employee’s wellbeing. If you’re not investing in a long-term employee wellbeing strategy, we’d recommend you do so!

Step Three: Don’t forget the social connection

Everyone connects with one another differently. Set up different touchpoints for the different personas within your organisations. Ensure that both formal and informal communication platforms are available and keep investing in remote events that drive meaningful and purposeful interactions.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Schedule a regular “office hour” for short impromptu discussions. Open a virtual meeting room for 30 minutes every day for Team Members to drop by for quick unscheduled questions. If no one comes by, the time is still yours, but you will always be available for your team. Again, you can decide on the frequency and duration based on what works best!

  • Create virtual “water cooler” chats on your communication platform. In the (not so distant) past, water cooler chats were how many people would connect with others from different teams. But with everyone not being physically in one place, deliberate effort is needed to close this gap. Check out Fast Company’s four ways to replace small talk when working remotely.

With all that said...

No plan is perfect; Review your strategy periodically! Remember the remote working arrangement forms only a part of your overall workplace flexibility strategy. Always actively consult with the different stakeholders in the business – employees included and of course, safety and compliance are key!

These are some ideas to get you started but the list goes on. Connect with us and explore on opportunities to enhance your organisations remote or hybrid Employee Experience today!


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