Empowering employees

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: What flexi-work options does your company/organisation offer? What have been the pros and cons?

Empowering employees

Teo Lay Lim
Senior Managing Director, ASEAN, and Country Managing Director, Singapore
Accenture

AT Accenture, our people are empowered with choices for better work-life balance with options such as flexible work, part-time schedule, and telecommuting. Such initiatives help our people decide how they work and when they work, and address the needs of new generations of employees who have different workplace expectations and requirements. Flexi-work is just one of the things we do to prepare for the future workforce. We also design our work environment using the latest technology and collaboration tools to support a healthy and productive experience for employees, even for those working remotely.

Kevin Chow
Chief Executive Officer
Thales in Singapore

THALES Singapore recently began a flexible work arrangement to support our people in achieving better work-life balance. Employees have flexibility in the start and end-times in their workday, enabling them to adjust their schedules to better manage things like childcare arrangements, or even reduce transportation costs by being able to commute during off-peak hours. To make this work, strong management support and close collaboration among teammates is needed. We've seen the value this flexibility can bring: positive staff morale and stronger engagement. I believe that engaged and committed employees make for productive and passionate ones, so the pros far outweigh any cons. Moving forward, we will look at developing/enhancing this programme, as part of our employee engagement and retention initiatives.

Yeoh Oon Jin
Executive Chairman
PwC Singapore

AT PwC, we have two flex-work options - Flex Time and Flex Space. Flex Time gives the flexibility of both working part-time and the option of staggering starting times. Flex Space works on the philosophy of focusing on output and supports working when and where staff would like to, but at the same time not compromising on the high-quality output required. Although we faced some initial resistance and teething issues, empowering our people through this new way of working has yielded more pros than cons. We recognise that people are most successful when they have the flexibility they need to meet the high demands of their professional life whilst at the same time accomplish the things they consider as priorities outside of their careers. The flexibility provided has also allowed us to retain our female talents who often chose to leave the profession due to the demanding nature of the professional services industry whilst balancing the expectations of them as working mothers.

Christophe Duchatellier
CEO, Asia Pacific
The Adecco Group

I BELIEVE that work flexibility is now more important than ever for all employees and not just GenZ or millennials as is often said. Employers who offer it will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent and staying competitive. Technology has made it so much easier for employees to perform work flexibly and, very importantly, productively. However, flexible work may mean different things to different people. So, an open conversation is needed between the manager and employee to understand what is preferred. It is also imperative that companies are clear and realistic about what work flexibility they can, and cannot, offer. At The Adecco Group, we support flexible work and encourage having a conversation to arrive at an optimal flexible work arrangement that works for the employee, the manager and the team.

Vivek Nath
Head of South Asia and Country Head, Singapore
Willis Towers Watson

THERE are many cases where flexible working has created win/win situations for our business. It allows us to keep high performers engaged to advance their careers in creative ways, while fostering long-term loyalty and productivity benefits for all.

It's important to recognise that this arrangement is not possible for all roles, and that life stage plays a big role in the value that individuals attribute to flexi-work options. Our philosophy is based on work-life integration and offers flexi time, place, space and attire - giving optionality for when and where work gets done, flexible space options for collaboration, and a dress code that allows colleagues to work comfortably at the office.

Max Loh
Asean and Singapore
Managing Partner
EY

EY@WORK is all about staggered working hours, telecommuting, working anywhere/anytime, and reduced or part-time work. We see the benefits of having built a culture of trust and collaboration; a focus on intelligent working, productivity and performance; and enabling our people to reduce their carbon footprint. It has also bolstered our talent engagement and retention strategy, and our appeal to the millennials, who value work-life integration. Success did not come overnight; much time and resources had been devoted to change management, policy reviews and technology enablement, which are potential points of failure. Flexible working also readies us for disruptions in the future work economy - characterised by the rise of gigs and a flexible workforce, where jobs are modularised and performed by those with the right skills and not necessarily within the traditional confines of the office space and hours.

Jerome Audais
Managing Director
KONE Pte Ltd

ONE of KONE's strategic targets is to provide our employees with a great place to work. We value our employees and seek to understand their needs and expectations. In 2015, we adopted flexible work arrangement schemes and opted for flexi-time and flexi place. KONE has about 400 employees, 160 of whom are based in the office, and 20 per cent of the workforce have embarked on the programme. The employees are pleased to work with their managers in adopting a scheme that fits them well. The process might have taken a bit of time. We have received positive feedback - for instance, our staff say they could better plan their daily work.

Patrick Fiat
General Manager and Chief Experience Officer
Royal Plaza on Scotts

ROYAL Plaza on Scotts offers 22-hour work weeks with limited work-benefits, suitable for new mothers and mature workers; staggered work hours for back-of-house and 5- or 6-day work weeks for CEOs* from the Operations Department.

Pros: Retention of good talents with experience; better balance for personal life while being financially independent; higher productivity at work; less stress commuting to work as CEOs are able to choose timings suitable for them; recruitment of good talent that the hotel may not have hired had it not offered these options.

Cons: Middle managers face the challenge of handling different permutations of work schedules; more adjustments to be made for meetings when accommodating different schedules

*Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) refer to talents of Royal Plaza on Scotts, as every talent plays a key role. Each touch point is significant to the guests' experiences.

Tony Lombardo
Chief Executive Officer, Asia
Lendlease

AT Lendlease, our vision to create the best workplaces encompasses places that support our employees' needs, priorities and lifestyles. Workplace flexibility is a key part of our Diversity & Inclusion strategy, and employees enjoy a range of workplace flexibility options which include flexible hours, part-time hours and working remotely.

All employees benefit from three days of well-being leave annually to engage in any health and well-being activities, on top of their annual leave provisions. In addition, our enhanced parental care leave scheme offers up to 20 weeks of leave to the primary carer upon childbirth or adoption of a newborn, regardless of the primary carer's gender, marital status or nationality.

As part of our career and performance management cycle, conversations don't just focus on performance, but also on their well-being. This promotes a culture of care as we believe employees who are happy and healthy at work are more likely to perform their best.

John Bittleston
Founder & Chair
Terrific Mentors International Pte Ltd

FROM the start in 1991, Terrific Mentors International determined that the best mentors, coaches and trainers were people who had other occupations as well. We encourage those who work with us to retain and develop their outside interests.

It keeps them in touch with the world, stops them from becoming stuck in their mentoring, coaching and training ways and avoids repetitive and dogmatic systems taking hold. The downside of this is that their other interests can become demanding or simply interesting thus limiting the time they have available for our work. But clients get the best of experience plus the best of innovation.

Helen Ng
Chief Executive Officer
General Storage Company Pte Ltd

AS A company in the service industry, we can only offer flexi-work options to back-end staff such as those performing accounting and administration tasks. We cannot offer flexi-work options to front-end staff due to the industry-wide shortage of manpower. How we distinguish ourselves from traditional warehousing is the human touch we offer our customers the moment they step into the self-storage facility. However, we are prepared to be flexible and let our employees take urgent time off should there be an emergency situation at home. We cannot adopt a company-wide flexi-work standard until we address the labour shortage challenge.

Seah Kian Peng
CEO
NTUC FairPrice

I WOULD be the first to say that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a real challenge. At NTUC FairPrice, we empower staff with the flexibility to juggle their work and family responsibilities through flexible work-arrangement options, including flexi-time and work-from-home. This helps cultivate a family-friendly environment.

For flexi-work arrangements to be effective, companies need to consider the job scopes and specialisations of their workforces - which may differ quite vastly even within an organisation. Hence, flexible hours should be tailored according to the nature of work best suited to the needs of the respective departments. Therefore, employees' buy-in is crucial to ensure that there is understanding on why flexi-work practices may differ. The end result for such flexi-arrangements is a win-win for the organisation and staff, where work continues to be completed and family responsibilities are not compromised.

Still, it is easier said than done. But as an employer, we need to at least create the environment and options to make it work and then give it a go. And finally as a boss, ask yourself what you can do to ensure your colleagues have some work life balance.

Paul Henaghan
Vice-President, Data Centre Solutions - Asia Pacific & Japan
Dell EMC

DELL'S flexible workplace programme, Connected Workplace, is a core component of our culture and talent acquisition and retention strategy, including work-from-home, part-time work arrangements, variable daily work times and job sharing. Around 25 per cent of our global workforce is enrolled in Connected Workplace with about 20 per cent more occasionally working remotely .

In our research on changing work-related behaviours, we have found that most employees globally believe they are just as or even more productive at home than in the office. This has bolstered our belief in encouraging a collaborative work environment which enables team members to work when and where they do their best work in support of our customers.

Karl Hamann
Chief Executive Officer
QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd

AS an organisation, we define our purpose as giving people the confidence to achieve their ambitions and goals. This includes customers as well as our staff, who are very important to the continued success of our company. We welcome work-life balance initiatives by the government. Indeed, in our workplace we have "people-first" policies that offer everything from flexibility of location to variable start and end times - all of which helps our staff thrive both at work and at home.

Vipin Kalra
Chief Executive Officer
BankBazaar International

I BELIEVE operational flexibility is a critical success factor in an increasingly dynamic business landscape and it should extend to working arrangements for employees. At BankBazaar, we work with our employees to enable flexible place, time and load terms that suit their personal needs and commitments.

As a company growing its footprint in the region, talent is a key asset for us. Flexi-work options help us in widening the pool of talent we can leverage, retain, and build a more productive, engaged and global workforce. By setting clear goals for employees and building a collaborative work environment, we are able to avoid any perceived pitfalls.

Lim Soon Hock
Managing Director
PLAN-B ICAG Pte Ltd

I AM for flexi-work options, having promoted it when I was the former chairman of the National Committee on Healthy Lifestyle and National Family Council for many years. Among other ideals, both organisations championed work-life harmony, a key outcome of flexi-work options.

Fundamental to the success of flexi-work options is the realisation and acceptance by bosses that it is not about face-time in the office. Rather, it is about job outcomes and throughput. In this regard, it does not matter where the work needs to be done, except for vocations where you need to, for example, work with machinery or equipment, as in a factory.

This mindset change needs to happen for more companies to adopt flex-work options.

Technology advances now allow for work to be carried out anywhere and anytime, for most office jobs. When integrated with clearly defined KPIs for every employee, there is no reason why more companies cannot adopt more flexi-work options.

I would argue that there are more pros than cons in adopting flexi-work options : higher productivity, a more satisfied workforce and a greater attraction for talents, especially the millennials.

Laletha Nithiyanandan
Managing Director
Behavioural Consulting Group

IT IS common in the recruitment industry for consultants to work long hours and outside office hours, depending on when candidates are available.

Our industry welcomes the drive to promote flexi-work as it's a practice that good recruitment businesses embrace. One key benefit is that it gives our employees work-life balance. It also helps us retain workers through their life changes. Smaller companies in our industry are sometimes challenged in balancing service to clients and maintaining a core team especially when someone goes on urgent leave, although with technology most people can access work from anywhere.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard
Managing Director - Singapore
Robert Half

WHILE salary is still the most vital element of a remuneration package, flexibility has become increasingly important, with many Singaporeans starting to prioritise benefits that positively impact their work-life balance.

Non-monetary benefits can be a prime motivator in the workplace, such as flexible working-hours, additional holidays and the option to work from home. Employers are beginning to understand how offering these highly sought-after incentives contribute to a satisfied, motivated, productive and loyal workforce.

In a fast-paced working environment where employers are confronted with a continuous war for talent, employers need to diversify their incentives offerings - and look beyond the financial aspect - in order to attract and retain their best talent.

Julian Hosp
Co-Founder & President
TenX

WE at TenX are proud to provide a very flexible work environment. We have core working hours from 10am to 4pm, where we ask people to be in the office, to have some structure for meetings. Wednesday are exceptions, where we have No-Meeting-Wednesdays and therefore, people can work from home. In case team members look for a fully remote position, we grant that in specific cases. We believe with that setup we can dip into the best of both worlds: Flexibility while still having some accountability around other team members.

Nirvik Singh
Chairman & CEO
Grey Group, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa

AT Grey Group, we think adopting flexi-work options is a forward-thinking and long-term approach to employment. We like to promote several policies adopting flexi-arrangements as we firmly believe good talent is hard to find and to replace.

One example of this is an arrangement we have for new mothers. Once they return from maternity leave, they can work according to their own personal schedule, enabling them to juggle between work and caring for their newborns successfully and without undue stress as they adapt to parenthood. There are also special maternity arrangements such as nursing rooms for the new moms, providing them a private, secure and comfortable space whilst at work.

Shavkat Berdiev
VP for Southeast Asia
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific

THERE'S nothing more important to us than the well-being and growth of our employees; the people of Discovery make us who we are. As an organisation that's transforming from the traditional TV space into a digital media and entertainment company, we know that pairing a focus on performance with an agile working environment is empowering. It gives our workforce greater flexibility in how, when and where they work and encourages innovation, creativity and risk-taking, so employees can be more productive. Since introducing flexi-work options including the freedom to work from anywhere, adaptive timings, birthday breaks and shorter work weeks with summer hours, we've seen an overwhelmingly positive response and a marked difference in the overall morale and productivity across the company.

Callum Laing
Partner Unity-Group Private Equity
@LaingCallum

AN ability to be flexible around work is one of the last great advantages that small businesses have over big corporates. Most small businesses are more concerned about the work getting completed satisfactorily, not when or even where the work is done, whilst big corporates are still hung up on employees being at their desk for long hours despite the widely reported lack of effectiveness.

This creates a huge opportunity for small businesses to work with stay-at-home mums, overseas talent who can't get visas, disabled workers etc. Anything that helps to tap that talent more effectively is a positive for society!

Reginald Peacock
CEO, Singapore Branch
Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

WE recognise the importance of striking a balance between the demands of professional and personal life while ensuring that business needs are met. We recently refreshed and advertised flexible working guidelines to complement individual employee situations. Through this, we hope to improve efficiency, increase work productivity and to attract and retain talent in our diversified workforce.

The guidelines describe informal flexible working options, which cater to common ad-hoc requests for a day-by-day or fixed term arrangements. This could include variance to starting and finishing times on a temporary basis and requests for home working for a fixed period.

We have approved many examples of working from home and even working from a different country.

Formal flexibility is less commonly asked for but would require a business case justification and a permanent change in contractual terms. We have part-time working arrangements in place but formal change requests are not common.

Hari V Krishnan
CEO
PropertyGuru Group

THE very best talents are trying to maximise life - managing the most challenging work and making plenty of time for personal priorities. The "Flex@PG" policy is a key pillar of PropertyGuru Group's benefits and offers a comprehensive range of flexible work arrangements to our Gurus across our four offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

Flex@PG provides our Gurus with daily to annual flexibility options such as: additional days off for extra vacation days in the year; sabbatical leave for a period of four or more weeks to pursue their passion; reduced work week option from the usual five-day work week to four days; work-from-home when needed to manage personal needs and a flexible work schedule for, a choice of daily start and end work timing to suit their lifestyle. The benefits have empowered our gurus to work out their best work-life fit and we have seen an enthusiastic response to the policy.

Wilfred Blackburn
Chief Executive Officer
Prudential Singapore

COLLEAGUES at Prudential enjoy a flexible work culture that is anchored in our values of accountability and empowerment, and enabled by technology.

Ours is an output-driven performance culture where everyone has the autonomy to decide on how, when and where work gets done. We offer a variety of flexi-work options including staggered hours, part-time work and telecommuting. Not only do we empower our people with autonomy, we empower them with digital tools so they can achieve better work-life harmony.

We are respectful of our colleague's personal time and appreciate that family life is important to their well-being. In support of this, we offer industry-leading benefits such as paid maternity and paternity leave benefits of 24 weeks and three weeks respectively.

We will continue to provide our people - our greatest asset - with the career and personal development opportunities they need to succeed.

Roland Ng
President
Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry

IN a knowledge-driven economy, while automation and new technologies are increasingly being adopted, human capital remains a valuable asset to businesses. Our companies have been adopting various flexi-work options, and this new initiative is what our businesses should endeavour to support.

The fight for sectoral talents has intensified in recent years, especially in our tight labour market, and flexi-work options will help businesses to attract and retain talent. On the other hand, given the manpower shortage today, employees should also be more flexible and be prepared to multi-task to assist their employers in keeping the workforce lean and nimble in order to stay competitive.

Quek Siu Rui
Co-founder & CEO
Carousell

AT Carousell, we offer flexible working arrangements and allow employees to work remotely from home based on guiding principles. We recognise that today's employees enjoy having flexibility and this can lead to an overall boost in productivity. Our teams are motivated and feel empowered at work, knowing they can adjust their schedules if necessary.

This is important for us, as an organisation, as we believe in creating an environment that delivers outcomes instead of output. As long as an individual continues to deliver results, whether at home or in the office, their work location should not matter too much.

As a natural extension to this, we recently introduced an Overseas Remote Work scheme. Full-time Carousell employees can clock up to five working days while on personal travel expense. We encourage our employees to use this when visiting countries we operate in, as this creates more opportunities to travel and experience the culture of other markets.

Lars Voedisch
Managing Director
PRecious Communications

WE offer employees the choice of flexi-time, flexi-load and flexi-place options in terms of flexi-work. Under the flexi-work arrangements, employees are allowed to pick their work start and end timings as long as core hours from 9:30am to 5pm are covered.

We also offer part-time positions to some of our consultants and the option to work from home upon request. This allowed us to offer positions eg for working mothers allowing them to continue work and family duties.

Flexi-work options help to accommodate employees' individual preferences based on family, hobbies or personal productivity, increasing morale while boosting retention and enlarging the talent pool. Our system is based on trust and personal responsibility. To make sure work is covered across teams, we set some guidelines in place so that clients' work is always prioritised.

Tan Mui Huat
President and CEO, Asia
International SOS

ESTABLISHING a relationship with International SOS has become a key part of thousands of our clients' employee benefits programmes. Likewise, we want to ensure that our benefits and policies help in attracting and retaining the best talents. To provide our employees with a supportive and productive work environment, our employees enjoy flexi-time, flexi-roster and flexi-place work arrangements.

To ensure that such flexible work arrangements benefit both the employees and the organisation, it is critical to have staff feedback. Our current flexible work arrangements came out of an employee survey and designed with inputs from our employees. Such flexible work arrangements have helped us attract a wider pool of potential employees in our talent recruitment and improve staff engagement and retention rate.

Bindu Bhatia
Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Carlson Wagonlit Travel

IN SINGAPORE, CWT has had flexible work arrangements in place for many years. Our people can choose to work from home, part-time, or have staggered working hours depending on their role. We've seen a number of benefits to this approach. We have consistently posted employee engagement scores of 70 per cent or higher since 2014, and we believe our flexible work policy has contributed significantly to this. It has helped us attract and retain top talent. At the same time, flexible work arrangements also means you can have fewer desks in the office. We have been able to reduce our office space in Singapore by as much as 20 per cent, generating significant savings that could be reinvested in other parts of the business. That said, it's still important to encourage staff who work remotely to visit the office at least a few times a month, as regular face-to-face contact helps maintain workplace relationships.

Martin Hayes
President
Bosch, Southeast Asia

AT BOSCH, our work culture is based on the pillars of self-organisation, flexibility and trust. With flexible working options such as flexi-time and working from home, we give our associates a choice on where, how, and when they work. For instance, this allows parents to look after their child in case of need by being able to easily work from home. Being a father myself, I experience and understand that juggling work and family can sometimes be a challenge.

IT infrastructure and tools enable our associates to work remotely without disruption. We have seen innovation, creativity and productivity soar amongst our associates as a result of our flexible working initiative.

Woon Yen Khai
Managing Director - Apac
American Biltrite Far East Inc

IN AMERICAN Biltrite, we have long adopted flexi-work arrangements in our offices in USA and Europe to accommodate the diverse needs of employees and promote a conducive working environment.

Our Singapore office started such a scheme last year. Today, we offer flexi-time (staggered hours) and telecommuting. The feedback from employees has been positive. It has certainly enhanced the attractiveness of our company for employee retention and new talent acquisition. Higher energy levels, willingness to share and more timely completion of tasks have also been observed.

Edwin Khew Teck Fook
President
The Institution of Engineers, Singapore

THE Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) is looking into making telecommuting and flexible scheduling as options for our staff. Flexi-work arrangements would help employees, especially those who need to take care of young children or elderly at home, in fulfilling the needs at home while still contributing to their responsibilities at the workplace. Such offers from employers would boost employees' commitment and loyalty to the organisation, hence increasing the overall morale and productivity while reducing employee turnover. The main challenges are in ensuring that it does not cause any disruption to workflow, and in developing a culture of trust and accountability between employers and employees for such a scheme to work and be sustainable.

Kamal Brar
Vice-President and General Manager, Asia Pacific
Hortonworks

WE believe in work-life balance and allow our employees to work from home and have the flexibility of working from anywhere at any time, provided they meet their set KPIs. The advantage of this is employees can balance both work, play and family which creates a boost in their morale and appreciation for the organisation.

Flexi-work arrangements help attract and retain talent as well as produce a team that is more productive and efficient. However, a set of guidelines need to be in place to ensure the system is not abused and employees are clear on their roles and responsibilities.

Derrick Chang
CEO
PSB Academy

AS A company that has adopted the Tripartite Standards, we have given our employees more autonomy in managing their work-life commitments. This way, we build a nurturing environment for a more independent team, attuned to the dynamism and agility that a modern workforce requires of its workers - the same qualities that we are striving to nurture in our students.

Options to start work later, work from home and facilities for nursing mothers, for example, give workers control over their work commitments and environment, and motivate them to become responsible for their own personal development and growth. This flexibility has enhanced our ability to attract and retain staff, as well as reduce absenteeism. However, we are careful about keeping staff engaged no matter their job arrangements, so that their sense of belonging with company is maintained, and they continue to align themselves with the company's values and goals as a team.

Olive Tai
Co-founder and Managing Director
Synagie.com

AS A startup, we already have in place since inception, a slew of flexible work options including encouraging employees to work off-site from their homes whenever family commitments beckon. If our staff need time out because they are not well, I instil in them levels of comfort and security of being able to work from home without fear of job loss or disciplinary repercussions - this is over and above medical leave officially granted by doctors. The company culture that my team and I have built, is predicated on trust and total love and commitment for the work we do. Staff turnover in my company is almost nil to date.

Reuter Chua
Head
ACCA Singapore

ACCA has employed staggered hours, as well as permanent part-time positions and project-based employment, to provide work-life flexibility to its employees; and is constantly seeking new ways to increase this in-built suppleness as work volumes ebb and flow.

Flexi-work may be considered a transition into an economy that has a significant gig or project-based component to it. Conversely, the "gig economy" could be considered a test-bed for new ideas and concepts regarding flexible working patterns, which is likely to become the model for Generation Z and beyond. This flexibility in work patterns would add resilience to the economy as increasingly it needs the agility and capacity to transform itself amid adverse external conditions. This is especially relevant to the accountancy sector as it seeks to transform itself in the midst of technological disruptions.

With many mid-career professionals and women still unemployed because of rigidities in traditional employment and work structures, as well as millennials who seek better work-life balance, a ''flexible economy'' and workplace would seem more appropriate.

Paul de Courtois
Managing Director
BMW Group Asia

BMW Group Asia empowers employees to have the flexibility to work when and where they want to depending on the nature of their roles, the business needs and the needs of their teams. Our main goal is to promote work-life balance, keeping in mind business requirements as well as personal needs. In the long-term we expect to see improved employee performance, health and engagement, in addition to higher overall employee satisfaction. However, a flexible work arrangement will only succeed if there is a culture of trust, fairness, mutual responsibility and collaboration between managers and associates.

Daniel Soh
Managing Partner
Leadership Advisory Inc

IN the current digital world, a flexible workforce is essential to address the skills gap and expectations between employers and employees. Companies have much to gain by encouraging flexible working, as it enable them to be more agile and able to respond quickly to changing market conditions. At Leadership Advisory Inc, we have implemented a number of flexi-work options that allow employees to adjust their time of reporting and leaving work. Other flexible work provisions include job sharing and working from home. As a result, employees are more enthusiastic and dedicated to their work, particularly when their family matters are taken care of through flexi-work arrangements.

I strongly believe that companies should model their commitment to flexi-work practices, and ensure that all employees are treated equitably. Having the right talent with good work ethics and discipline is key. Employers should also develop creative practices to embrace greater flexibility in our competitive landscape.

Lee Siang
Chief Executive Officer
Dyslexia Association of Singapore

FOR psychologists, educational therapists and speech and language therapists at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, there are flexi-work options including part-time and sessional work. Those who are mothers are also often able to take no-pay leave especially after their maternity leave. Educational therapists are also expected on-site for only 36 hours a week out of their 44-hour work week.

The above has helped DAS improve retention of staff who are expected to work nights and weekends. The challenge though is the greater difficulty for staff to meet required Continuing Professional Development milestones. It also means students might have to switch to other therapists as and when required.

David Leong
Managing Director
PeopleWorldwide Consulting Pte Ltd

FLEXIBLE work arrangements mean taking out rigidities in workplace management. Instead of tying workers to work at designated places and during regular office hours, we provide flexibility to work anywhere. We measure our staff's performance by their work targets and output instead of how much time they spend at their worksites.

Staffs are provided the discretion to deal with family matters and take time-off anytime as long as they remain reachable via mobile devices linked to our work reporting messaging threads and online synchronised schedules.

By managing outputs and targets, we leave it to the staff to manage their workload based on their discretion and our high trust in them.

There are more pros in a trusted environment like this. The "con" is that we do not count hours or time, just work to be done.

Henry Tan
Managing Director
Nexia TS

IN A country like Singapore, there is a need for both fathers and mothers to be involved in the upbringing of children. Our firm started the journey towards flexi-work arrangement in 2011. Some of these practices include birthday leave in the birth month; one day work at home at staff's choosing per month; paternity leave; no fixed lunch hours that facilitate small errands.

Also, one of our senior staff is working in the US remotely with us as her husband is pursuing further studies there. With remote technologies our staff can work anywhere, including at clients' premises. We like to look at outcomes and deliverables rather than the number of hours worked. We also have an associate consultant scheme which allows our consultants to work on a project basis, from anywhere and without fixed office hours.

Stephen Wang
Director
Talent Plus, Asia Pacific

OUR organisation encourages associates to leverage flexible work arrangements. We take on the initiative individually to be responsible for our own efficiency and effectiveness. We plan for coverage during absence, and we anticipate the lead time required to complete work. Most notably, we have a "no vacation" vacation policy where each associate can allocate the time necessary according to their personal needs to rejuvenate or tend to family. While this approach suggests the structure will require close coordination and monitoring, in reality with self-management our associates become more supportive and accountable to each other.

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