Companies in Singapore are not hindered by the fact that there has been a surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. Instead, they remain confident that they will be able to remain flexible and responsive to the fluid pandemic situation, reported The Straits Times.
This, apparently, is backed by the hybrid working practices that most workplaces have been in since the start of the pandemic.
As Singapore is transitioning towards endemic living, it has been announced that from 1 January 2022 onwards, Singapore will ease its default work-from-home stance and allow 50% of those who can work from home to return to the office.
Despite having more of their corporate and administrative staff return to the office, some businesses have not found their workforce to be significantly affected by the Omicron variant as compared to the Delta variant.
Companies have attributed this to the strict safe distancing measures put in place, as well as rostered routine testing. Split team arrangement and tailoring hybrid work arrangements have also generally helped companies to keep going despite the potential road bumps posed by the virus.
Reportedly, many companies have also invested in remote working infrastructure during the pandemic and are promoting employee mental wellness – such as adopting the ‘right to disconnect’ policy mooted by labour MP Melvin Yong – to ensure productivity levels remain high even when working from home.
Such ‘right to disconnect’ policy can take the form of encouraging staff not to respond to work-related messages after working hours.
While there are companies that are confident of making flexible working arrangements permanent and ensuring that their productivity levels remain high, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), on the other hand, may not be able to adopt such hybrid working arrangements as easily.
Vice-president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) Mr Ang Yuit have told Straits Times that while some individual employees may have reported improved productivity from the reduced commute time, many employees have reflected from the ground that a lack of teamwork from fewer face-to-face meetings have harmed company-wide alignment.
On top of that, some companies have also had to factor in additional costs to projects as part and parcel of living with the virus.
Well, it seems that there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to this issue, but this is undeniably one that deserves attention.
What do you think?