As the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) soared to record highs last week, online retailers enjoyed a spike in sales - thanks to shoppers who turned to cyberspace for their anti-haze needs.
Deal-a-day sites such as Groupon Singapore and Qoo10 saw a pick-up in sales of air purifiers and N95 masks to consumers, many of whom were frustrated with in-store shortages.
The sites have also been quick to tailor travel packages for Singaporeans looking to escape the smog, with StreetDeal.sg boasting "quick escapes to Bangkok, Phuket, Hong Kong and many more" for residents "sick of the haze".
Groupon Singapore saw sales jumping 48 per cent during the June 13-23 period from the previous 11 days, while Qoo10 experienced more than a 70 per cent increase in the average number of page views and sales on Friday, when the PSI hit a historical high of 401.
At Groupon Singapore, deals for short getaways to Hong Kong and Thailand have been responsible for the group's overall rise in sales. The company plans to collaborate with merchants to offer more travel deals in the coming weeks.
Some Singaporeans have been so keen to leave the island that they paid at least 30 per cent more in air fares, said CTC Travel's senior vice-president of marketing and PR, Alicia Seah.
Ms Seah noticed that revenue during the past weekend jumped 40 per cent year-on-year, driven by families with young children seeking to flee the haze. On Friday morning, the company experienced six times its normal call volume, as clients enquired about last-minute bookings on outgoing flights.
"Most are going for their second family holiday because they just want to be safe, especially those with young children," said Ms Seah.
Meanwhile, David Song of Country Holidays Travel estimated a 10-15 per cent rise in revenue, based on the previous week's takings.
The PSI's erratic fluctuations have, however, not worried inbound travellers enough to cancel their trips to Singapore, although hotels and tour operators received enquiries about Singapore's air quality.
With outdoor attractions temporarily halted for health and safety reasons, "travel agencies are having to adjust the itineraries for their customers by offering alternative choices of attractions", said Anita Tan, chief operating officer of Natas, the industry grouping of tour agencies and operators.
On the home front, property viewings slowed during the weekend. But Propnex CEO Mohamed Ismail said that is a confluence of fewer launches during the June school holidays as well as fewer real estate advertisements being placed in the newspapers at the weekend.
"Advertisements have to be placed a few days before the weekend papers are published - and it coincided with when the haze was especially bad," he explained.
With the Singapore government making clear that work and life have to go on, businesses are doing what they can to ensure their staff stay healthy, usually by dishing out N95 masks to employees and customers.
Royal Plaza on Scotts has been taking a more wholistic view of staff health with a special chrysanthemum brew created by the culinary team.
"The freshly brewed chrysanthemum tea was hand-delivered by the Human Resources team to the hotel's offices and back of the house areas for all employees to boost their immune systems," said Patrick Fiat, General Manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts.
If the haze persists at hazardous levels, businesses should consider mitigation strategies such as shifting more processes indoors, said Janson Yap, regional managing director of Deloitte South-east Asia's risk enterprise services practice.
Event planners may have to decide to change venues, while alfresco dining spots should look into the feasibility of building shelter around their outdoor areas, said Dr Yap.