SINGAPORE: A Singaporean employee working at a social service agency has raised concerns about the lack of flexible work options despite efforts by a new upper management member to promote work-life balance.

Her post online highlighted the ongoing issues within the organisation, including high turnover rates and poor job satisfaction, worsened by resistance to change from other leaders.

Describing the new boss, she said, “He was really enthusiastic and keen on promoting work-life balance and providing employees flexi-work arrangements and has proposed small changes.”

She added, “The employees on the ground are happy that we have someone in the upper management who cares for our well-being and is taking proactive steps to enhance job satisfaction.

He’s different, unlike the other staff in the upper management. “

However, the new boss’s efforts have not been fully supported by the rest of the upper management, leading to tension and awkwardness within the leadership team.

She shared, “I can sense some awkwardness and tension between the new boss and the other bosses.”

The organisation is already facing significant challenges. It is known for offering lower salaries than similar organisations and has recently experienced high attrition rates. She said that reviews on Glassdoor have repeatedly highlighted these issues.

See also  Putrajaya should spend another RM45b in 2021 for economic growth, says Lim

A recent internal survey conducted by one of the bosses showed poor job satisfaction among employees. The severe lack of manpower has increased workloads for the current staff, struggling to cover the gaps.

She noted that the new boss’s efforts to improve employee well-being came at a critical time. Working in social services is inherently demanding, with staff often dealing with complex and challenging clients.

This can take a toll on both physical and mental health.

However, although the new boss’s push for flexible work arrangements has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise rigid management structure, “unfortunately for flexi work arrangements to actualise, the majority in the upper management has to be in consensus too.”

“One man can’t change the entire system that has been plagued for years,” she said. I don’t understand why can’t the upper management be open to changes.”

She then asked, “Wouldn’t the flexi work arrangements benefit themselves too? The organisation can’t just be thinking about serving the clients and promoting inclusivity, neglecting the employees.”

See also  Man asks if he should accept job offer with 25% pay raise despite negative reviews about the company

The new boss has been with the organisation for less than six months and is still on probation. There is concern among the staff about whether he will stay with the organisation given the lack of support from his peers in the upper management.

Many employees are backing him, hoping he will remain and continue to push for necessary changes to improve job satisfaction among employees.

Online commenters resonated with the frustrations expressed in the post.

One person remarked, “Most bosses are dinosaurs,” noting that many bosses “fear their own relevance if a work force is distributed and self managing.”

Another suggested, “The best… can do is to continue to support this new boss.”

One commenter shared his experience, describing how their boss implemented flexible work on paper but used location tracking to monitor employees, forcing them to clock in and out from home and adhere to strict lunch breaks.

He shared, “If you move house and never update your address, it’s considered a non-working day and they will force you to take leave, claiming that ‘if everyone is like this, we cannot track employees.’

See also  CEO suffers backlash for saying 22-year-old employees should work 18 hours a day for at least 4-5 years

As though we don’t already have another function/app for us to log our work hours and what we spent it on.”

He cited specific rules: “If we’re away from the desk, we need to write where we’re going (to the toilet or getting water). Also, no one is allowed to be idle on MS Teams; if found idle, it will be reported.”

Such measures, he argued, undermined the purpose of flexible work arrangements.

Another pointed out, “Most bosses already have a degree of autonomy and can work on a flexible basis. Formalising WFA does not add anything for them.

Bosses tend to enjoy working from offices instead of homes as they have entire teams in the offices to pander to them and help with every single thing, e.g., photocopying documents, responding to their queries about ongoing projects.

If they or their minions work from home, they might have to do more work, especially if they can’t get hold of their minions.” /TISG

Read also: 2 in 5 Singaporeans quit jobs that lack time and location flexibility

Featured image by Depositphotos