Embracing the New Norm with A Hybrid Workforce In Singapore

Posted by John Rikvin on January 17th, 2022


This pandemic has brought a lot of changes especialy in work setup. The massive work-from-home experiment brought about by the Circuit Breaker and social distancing measures has forced organisations to rethink how and where work can be done.  

In recent years, many cities have developed their trade or industry hubs that are specifically designed as highly collaborative ecosystems between private and public sectors. Certain industries are predicated on an in-person environment, such as airports or scientific laboratories that depend on on-site infrastructure or specialised equipment. 

Face-to-face interactions bring a different energy that remains important in fostering innovation and camaraderie among colleagues. However, the changing movement restrictions and varying office capacity regulations allowed HR leaders to experiment with the different models of hybrid work.

Way of the Hybrid Work Model

A hybrid work model allows employees to work from home and the office. While the specific arrangements of these hybrid models vary from businesses, the general concept of companies that have implemented work-from-home policies circles around letting employees work from home for a designated number of days per week. 

Some even allow employees to work wherever they deem to be more effective. Other companies, like HSBC, offer numerous work arrangements depending on job roles: officer work, flexible office work, and flexible home work. Even tech leaders like Google have announced flexible workforce pilots, seeing employees spend three days at the office and the rest at home. 

Building the Singapore Hybrid Workforce: 

Prioritize Flexibility

A Singapore hybrid workforce requires clarity and planning to determine which jobs can be done in the office or at home. Organizations have to consider:

  • When will employees be required to check in to the office?
  • Can work processes be redesigned to suit hybrid and remote teams?
  • Does the company have the correct infrastructure to support a hybrid workforce?

With flexibility in mind, businesses have to rethink processes to adapt to the new model of remote working. This could come in the form of cloud storage and collaboration software which allow employees to access work resources remotely and enable efficiency despite the workforce being divided. 

Naturally, organizations need to ensure employees are reskilled and understand the new technology that enables a hybrid workforce model. Companies also need to ensure employees are aware of data security when working remotely. As such, new technology and employee upskilling are just as important as each other.

Organizations may also need to change the layout of their office to accommodate virtual and physical meetings. This could mean setting up transparent panels between booths or partitioning rooms to adhere to the functional group regulations. 

Communicate and Connect

Singapore organizations need to encourage a philosophy and ethos based on trust to ensure the hybrid workforce model works correctly. Companies should ask themselves:

  • What are the organization expectations regarding work?
  • Are work goals or hours clocked more vital to the company?

The working culture should combine trust in the workforce and the right results for the organization. Managers should empower workers and set expectations, while providing support to meet work goals. 

Subsequently, employees and managers should understand telecommuting policies surrounding working hours, as well as behavioral conduct expectations in the office and at home.

In addition, managers should resist micro-management techniques wherever possible and trust the employees to give their best even when working remotely. This can be done via regular check-ins (one-to-one or group meetings). 

Organizations should also include a two-way communication policy so employees can contribute views and raise issues when necessary, through face-to-face meetings, email, or teleconferencing.

Understand Accountability

To prevent any assumptions that working from home may cause productivity to drop, companies can create a shared monitoring system to improve accountability. Team managers can state their expectations clearly and employees can work to meet those performance targets. 

Read more about Singapore hybrid workforce at this Rikvin.com blog.

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John Rikvin

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John Rikvin
Joined: August 9th, 2019
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