SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has unveiled a research-based briefing paper—a roadmap for workers and employers to foster sustainable, flexible working arrangement (FWA) practices with mutually beneficial outcomes.

The report outlines three fundamental principles jointly developed by NTUC Strategy, NTUC U Women and Family (U WAF), and The Behavioural Insights Team.

Firstly, it emphasizes the importance of making flexible working easily accessible for employees and managers.

Second, it advocates for fostering an environment where flexible working is socially acceptable, combating misconceptions that may deter its adoption.

Lastly, it stresses the necessity of clarity in requirements to alleviate uncertainty aversion among employees considering FWAs.

The report provides insights and recommendations on how to implement sustainable, flexible working arrangements.

It advises reviewing the feasible scope and operational needs of FWAs and redesigning work processes to accommodate flexibility effectively.

Additionally, businesses are encouraged to invest in new technology and software to facilitate flexible working.

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NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng highlighted the significance of trust and flexibility between employers and workers for successful FWA implementation.

He emphasized the importance of good management, clear communication, and strategic adjustments to workflows and policies.

The former governing party MP said: “We found that a culture of trust and flexibility between employers and workers is important for FWA to work for both parties.

The insights and recommendations outlined in this paper offer a roadmap for firms seeking to implement FWA successfully.

By prioritising good management, clear communication, and strategic adjustments to workflows and policies, firms can create an environment for workers where FWA can work and contribute to organisational success.”

This initiative follows NTUC’s #EveryWorkerMatters Conversation, which surveyed over 42,000 workers, revealing FWA as a pivotal factor for caregivers to remain engaged in the workforce.

The briefing paper aims to provide guidance for firms of all sizes to implement and sustain FWAs effectively, drawing from best practices and success stories.

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Employers are encouraged to learn from unionized companies and NTUC partners that have leveraged flexibility to achieve organizational goals while supporting employee well-being.

Assistant Secretary-General and U WAF Director Yeo Wan Ling reiterated NTUC’s commitment to promoting FWA, citing its role in driving productivity and enhancing employee satisfaction.

Ms Yeo, also an MP, said: “NTUC has been campaigning for FWA for decades because we know that it drives productivity and enhances employee satisfaction.

Through this Briefing Paper, we hope to equip more employers and workers with the knowledge and tools necessary to harness the full potential of FWA for mutual benefit.

“By highlighting real-world success stories, we hope to inspire more organisations to embrace FWA and unlock their full potential.

With collaboration and knowledge-sharing, we can create a workplace culture that prioritises both productivity and employee well-being,”

As part of the initiative, NTUC announced the relaunch of the “Yes, Flex Jobs!” portal by May this year.

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This job portal for flexible roles aims to support employers’ hiring efforts, particularly those adopting the Tripartite Standards for Flexible Work Arrangements.