Career

If You’re Still Skeptical About Achieving Work-Life Harmony, Let Some Organisations Show You How With Flexible Work Arrangements

flexible work arrangements singapore

Mark Cheng

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In the perpetually busy state that Singaporeans are in, it’s tough to juggle the multiple responsibilities that keep increasing as we move through the various life stages. We previously looked at how you can manage this with the availability of Flexible Work Arrangement schemes, but if you are still wondering how this actually plays out in real life and how it can truly benefit you and your company, we have some examples here for you.

To get a better perspective on the use of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) and how it benefits companies and individuals, we interviewed Jardine OneSolution and Infineon Technologies, two companies who have implemented FWAs successfully and have seen visible benefits as a result. The 3 main benefit areas highlighted are:

  • Higher Employee Retention
  • Increased Productivity
  • Higher Job Satisfaction

 

One of the primary drivers of success highlighted by both companies was buy-in from senior management. The programmes will definitely not reap the full benefits if your management does not fully believe in the positive potential of the FWAs. That being said, the 3 benefit areas should give you a good case to present should you want to see these FWAs being fully implemented in your company.

 

1. Higher Employee Retention

Lynn Pua, Head of Human Resources & Admin, S.E.A. at Jardine OneSolution, says that the programme has had a significant impact on employee retention. With the company having won the Work-Life Excellence Award, it has also had a spillover effect for employees when they talk about the company, resulting in good employer branding as well.

She said that, “While the FWAs may not be relevant to everyone, when the time comes that people need some sort of flexibility at work, it is a huge benefit. At the end of the day, we want people to feel proud of working for the company as well, and the recognition that the company understands the challenges its employees face also contributes to a better retention rate.”

Companies often struggle with retaining their employees, and can incur high costs when it comes to having to hire and train new employees. With the implementation of FWAs, this helps both parties to reach a win-win compromise, and can even help to boost an individual’s productivity.

 

2. Increased Productivity

High productivity is always one of the holy grails of any progressive company, and it’s always a challenge to find ways to increase both individual and collective productivity. David Ong, Senior Director, Communications at Infineon Technologies, shares that tracking and measurement, both of approved FWAs as well as the overall performance of staff helps make it easier for other people to apply for an FWA should they need one.

He says, “When we decided to formally implement the FWA programme 2 years ago, we also made it a point to track approvals of the applications. This provides visibility across the company, and if there are managers who aren’t really very receptive to the programme, they are also able to see that there are other teams and departments that are able to excel even with FWAs in place.”

In fact, we actually spoke to David over the phone while he was working offsite and utilising an alternative work arrangement due to certain personal commitments, and he shared that this is great for employees because it actually motivates employees to work harder and smarter because they recognise that the company is also trying to meet them halfway.

 

3. Higher Job Satisfaction

The unanimous response to the question of just how beneficial these FWAs really are is that the overall positivity towards work is significantly increased. This happens when employees are not only able to tackle the various responsibilities they have together with the help of their employers, but also when they are able to then share with their friends and family the positive effects of having good work-life harmony. Mild jealousy from friends is of course, a nice bonus.

Jokes aside, Lynn also says, “Some people initially were rather apathetic towards the programme because they didn’t have any real pressing need for a flexible work scheme. They were perfectly fine with normal working hours and schedules. But then when situations arose and they were able to apply for an FWA, their outlook changed and they also became advocates for the programme.”

Ms Sharon Lei Yong Ken, who is a Materials Planner at Infineon Technologies, also shares that, “Infineon’s work-life initiatives helped me to better manage my family life. Initially, I had to stretch my energy to the maximum to cope with two kids and their homework after my regular working hours. Now that I am on the flexi-hour scheme, I can schedule my day to meet the needs of my kids without affecting my work. Now, I am living a balanced lifestyle.”

 

The Final Word

If you have been struggling with the juggling act that is bound to occur somewhere along the course of your working adult life, it’s never too late to find out how you can help your company change that. With information on the numerous FWAs available, it’s not very hard to find one that will be beneficial to both you and your employer. Gone are the days where you should have to stay in office late just to show face, and working smarter doesn’t just bode well for your own career, but for your employer’s business too.

What are some of your thoughts on FWAs? Share your comments with us here!

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Mark Cheng

I rant and rave a lot, but when I'm not busy doing that, I'm managing the content for MoneySmart. I love Singapore, but I also believe in helping it to improve bit by bit, and that's where MoneySmart comes in. Have some thoughts? Drop me an email at mark@moneysmart.sg.