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Is Hybrid Work Still a Deal Breaker for Jobseekers in 2023?

Is Hybrid Work Still a Deal Breaker for Jobseekers in 2023?

Singaporeans are wisening up to the benefits of hybrid work. After the pandemic restrictions were lifted, employees have become accustomed to a mix of in-office and remote work. This was made clear in the recently published JobStreet report, What Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment. It showed that out of 6,923 respondents from Singapore, 71% prefer hybrid models. So, consider offering this flexibility if you want to attract and retain top talent.

The Hybrid Work Landscape in Singapore

Hybrid work is becoming a must-have for jobseekers in Singapore. A recent survey by JobStreet found that 19% of jobseekers in Singapore consider work-life balance a deal breaker when accepting a job. Hybrid work arrangements offer employees the flexibility to work from home and from the office, which can help them manage their work and personal lives better.

According to JobStreet’s 2022-2023 Outlook | Hiring, Compensation & Benefits, one-third of the surveyed companies in Singapore plan to implement a hybrid work model. This suggests that hybrid work is becoming increasingly common in Singapore. Companies are recognising the benefits that it can offer to employees and employers alike.

As more companies adopt hybrid work arrangements, we will likely see even more innovative and creative ways for employers to adapt. But, employers must remember that hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach varies depending on the individual needs of the company and its employees. Employers should work with their employees to find hybrid work arrangements that meet everyone’s needs.

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How Singaporean Companies are Adapting to Hybrid Work

Companies in Singapore have adopted a spectrum of return-to-office policies, ranging from fully remote to hybrid to fully in-office. Aside from the examples above, many other employers have assumed hybrid policies to ensure business continuity while prioritising employee well-being.

Here are different ways Singaporean workplaces have adapted to hybrid work.

1. Developing a clear hybrid work policy In Singapore, companies that are successful in implementing a hybrid work culture have a clear hybrid work policy. A clear hybrid work policy determines the required work hours, communication protocols, and meeting platforms and schedules.

2. Investing in remote work technology Companies are learning to navigate the digital landscape. They provide employees with the necessary virtual tools to support remote work effectively. High-speed internet access, secure VPNs, and collaboration tools are crucial investments.

3. Fostering a culture of trust and accountability Shifting the focus from working hours to achieved results promotes trust among employees and employers. Clear expectations, goals, and the provision of resources also empower employees to take ownership of their work.

4. Building personal relationships According to the Future of Recruitment report, Singaporeans — including digital natives — prefer personal interaction. Recognising this, many companies facilitate in-person team events and create spaces for socialisation. These initiatives promote stronger bonds among employees, whether they work in the office or remotely.

5. Offering health and wellness benefits Employee well-being is a top priority. Several companies in Singapore provide mental health resources, counselling services, and wellness programmes to support the holistic health of their workforce.

6. Monitoring and adjusting hybrid work policies Companies use data-driven approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of their hybrid work arrangements. Employee surveys, performance reviews, and productivity metrics help organisations fine-tune their policies to meet evolving needs.

7. Redesigning offices for hybrid work Redesigned offices create flexible workspaces that accommodate both in-office and remote work. A number of companies in Singapore have incorporated huddle rooms and collaboration zones to promote a versatile work environment.

8. Providing training and support Training programmes, mentorship, and support groups help employees adapt to the hybrid work model effectively. Several companies train employees on using remote work tools and collaborating virtually. Others also offer coaching for employees who struggle with hybrid work.

Top Singapore Companies Offering Hybrid Work

Several Singaporean companies have taken steps to embrace hybrid work arrangements. Each has reflected a forward-thinking approach to productivity and well-being. Below are the top companies leading the way in offering hybrid work solutions.

DBS Bank

DBS Bank is implementing a series of transformation initiatives to redefine its approach to work. It introduced a distributed workforce model that allows all employees to work remotely for up to 40% of their time. It has also embraced project-specific data-driven teams. Members come from various functions and areas of expertise.

The bank is also prioritising the development of future-focused skill sets. It aims to upskill and reskill employees in emerging domains. These include “design thinking, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and agile practices.”

DBS is also redesigning its workspaces to facilitate increased collaboration and ideation. It plans to launch a 5,000-square foot ‘Living Lab’ at its Singapore headquarters to blend physical and virtual workspace configurations.

Google

Google has also embraced hybrid work arrangements. Googlers have the option to work remotely for two days each week. When in the office, employees can focus on collaboration, product-driven initiatives, and active participation in company functions.

Google also offers enhanced choices regarding the work environment. Its hybrid work approach champions flexibility for personal lives. Googlers can temporarily work from a different location for up to four weeks each year, contingent upon manager approval.

Deloitte

Deloitte Singapore allows employees to work from home or the office, depending on their needs and preferences. It aims to optimise a combination of virtual and in-person interactions. It also wants to empower employees to preserve the flexibility that they desire.

Deloitte believes this hybrid model benefits its people and the environment. By reducing travel and commuting time, Deloitte decreases its carbon footprint, moving towards its global commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

HSBC

HSBC Singapore embraces a hybrid work model that balances office and remote work. It is guided by a focus on customer needs, individual flexibility, and enhanced collaboration.

HSBC Singapore has refined its flexible working policy, upgraded office spaces to adopt an activity-based layout, and equipped staff with the necessary IT and security infrastructure to support remote work. It has also offered workshops for managers on managing dispersed and hybrid teams.

Shopee

Shopee allows employees to work remotely for up to two days per week. They also send care packages and celebrate holidays with their employees throughout the year.

Shopee promotes wellness through initiatives like the Shopeelympics, Meditation Monday, and coffee-tasting workshops. They also allocate funds for teams to organise fun activities. Through this holistic approach, Shopee maintains employee connections and supports their growth, regardless of their work location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a hybrid return-to-office policy? A hybrid return-to-office policy allows employees to work from home and from the office on a flexible basis. This type of policy is becoming increasingly common, as it offers a number of benefits for both employees and employers.

What is hybrid vs remote work? Hybrid work combines remote work and in-office work. Remote work is when employees work from home or another location outside of the office.

Why is hybrid work so important to jobseekers? Hybrid work allows employees to have more flexibility and control over their work and personal lives. It can also help to reduce stress and improve productivity.

What are the advantages of hybrid work for employers? Hybrid work can help employers attract and retain top talent, improve productivity, reduce costs, and foster a workplace culture that values flexibility and well-being.

How can employers implement hybrid work arrangements? Employers can implement hybrid work arrangements by developing clear and concise policies, providing employees with the necessary tools and resources, and communicating with employees regularly.

Are employees happy with hybrid work? Yes, most employees in Singapore are happy with hybrid work. Employees appreciate the flexibility that hybrid work offers and the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues in person.

What are the disadvantages of hybrid work?

The disadvantages of hybrid work include:

  • Challenges in maintaining a healthy work-life balance

  • Potential difficulties in collaborating with remote colleagues

  • The possibility of employees experiencing feelings of isolation

Despite these, the overall benefits of hybrid work tend to outweigh the challenges, making it a favourable choice for many organisations.

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