I read with interest the report, “Beyond redesigned office spaces, the future of work requires big changes in both heartware and hardware” (TODAY, Aug 27).
It is interesting to learn that DBS Bank’s office in Marina Bay Financial Centre has provided a “wellness space” in which its employees can take a break from work, they can head to the 42nd floor of the building, where, having sleep pods where workers can take a short nap, a reading corner with music and yoga mats for relaxing their minds from stress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently created a “seamless” opportunity for business entities and individuals to rethink, innovate, change or adjust the mode of their business, operations, and management. For example, adopting the hybrid working model by fully tapping the usefulness, and convenience of technology or remote-working tools such as chat apps, webinars, and videoconferencing.
In addition, frontline employees who work in essential services such as manufacturing industries, hospitals, healthcare, retail, automotive, airline and logistics services require them to have regular interaction with their clients, thus, it is also important for their employers to provide “heartware” care and touch to them. For example, granting time off and off-in-lieu for employees to attend to their urgent household affairs in order to strike a healthy work-life balance.
Anyway, there is no quick and fixed rule for standardising any working model for a specific profession. Neither to say a hybrid working model is ideal in all situations nor the practice of being present in the office or working at the site is best all the time.
In short, any working model which can provide sustainable work flexibility, diversity, and resilience will win the hearts and minds of employees. And, in due course, raise productivity, while simultaneously achieving the retention of employees; benefiting the company’s growth and financial returns.
Barclays investment bank of Singapore and DBS are good examples of such caring employers who provide the needy “heartware” programs for their employees.
Teo Kueh Liang
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.
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