How do you feel about flexible work arrangements as a new norm in workplaces?
A study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) released on April 25 found that although attitudes towards working from home are falling short lately, those who prefer flexibility in work arrangements are likely to find a new job if employers only insist on working in the office.
41 to 52 per cent of workers are in favour that flexible work arrangements should be the new norm in Singapore while 20 to 35 per cent felt that working from home should be a new norm for workplaces.
Attitudes towards new working arrangements are hardening over the course of the pandemic. Now that work and personal hours have blurred amidst remote working and Zoom calls, work-life balance is taking the centre stage.
Work-life harmony helps to achieve a sustainable balance between one’s professional and personal lives. “Work” and “life” are becoming increasingly intertwined and it is difficult to view them as independent elements due to changing demographics and pressures from work and family responsibilities.
A Japanese Tempura restaurant in Singapore, Tenya Singapore, had solved its shortage of manpower by introducing a 4-day work week. Its hiring advertisement was quickly filled up which would typically see 0 applicants when advertising a 5-day work week.
Workers who experience a greater work-life harmony tend to be more motivated and productive in their work. It is not surprising that some workers are calling for flexi-work arrangements that employers should start to consider implementing a successful work-life strategy.
Given a pandemic and ample justification for working from home, there is still a group of people who felt pressured to return to the office. The easing of restrictions also led to an increase from 21 per cent to 37 per cent in those respondents who prefer to work in the office.
No matter how ideal a shorter work week might sound to workers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Senior workers are doubting the feasibility of working from home which could affect productivity levels. Some sectors such as financial and insurance services might find it hard to break away from the traditional work week.
Despite that, Singapore is actively pushing for healthy work-life harmony in workplaces. The tripartite standard for work-life balance was launched to boost work morale and performance in 2021. It introduces practices and strategies employers can adapt accordingly to their organisation’s needs.
As ideal as flexible working arrangements sound to be, an organisation needs to first consider the feasibility and suitability before diving headfirst into such initiatives. As mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
A successful strategy is a win-win situation where employees are satisfied with a greater balance between their work and personal lives and employees are pleased with a richer and higher quality of work produced.
Spearheading into flexible work arrangements might not be the immediate plan. It is understandable that there are many concerns that need to be considered for work-life harmony is a new concept.
Instead, there are many digital work management tools that could provide employers with peace of mind to start off. Digital tools such as Coda could help to oversee your workers in one digital doc and Zoom calls remove the need for workers to conduct meetings or share opinions in the office.
Work-life harmony is fairly new and there are many areas that can be explored and developed in the near future. Interestingly, the gig economy is steadily growing which stands as another alternative for those who strongly resonate with balancing professional and personal growth.
Outside is Singapore’s leading community micro-job platform that creates micro (l)earning opportunities for students, homemakers and seniors.
As a two-sided platform, Outside provides an all-in-one outsourcing management platform for businesses, assisting in breaking down jobs into smaller simpler pieces and improving operations efficiency. For job seekers, Outside provides flexible job opportunities that users can easily pick up and complete within the Outside app, allowing them to work conveniently and earn reliably.