July 9, 2014
Asia is a culture where employers tend to be more “traditional” and are highly resistant to letting employees work out of their sight. However, on July 1st in Singapore, more incentives for employers to facilitate flexible-work arrangements for its workers rolled out.
Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health Amy Khor announced improvements to the WorkPro scheme in June. In an article in straitstimes.com she stated, "We want to encourage take-up and utilisation of these flexible work arrangements among the workers... so they can better meet their work responsibilities as well as personal needs," The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is providing specialized funds to be used as incentives for Singaporean companies to be eligible for if they offer such work-life strategies to their employees.
Work-life strategies are flexible-work options an employer offers their employees in order to encourage and support a healthy work-life balance for workers. This supports increasing knowledge, that in order to keep employees productive and competitive, a company should be open-minded to the needs of its staff to unlock their full potential.
The funds are a grant that is given to businesses in order to encourage employers to offer various flexible-work arrangements including telecommuting, or working from home. Companies will be eligible to have access to a grant totaling up to S$100,000 in order to make flexible-work arrangements available to its workers.
It’s a win-win arrangement for both employee and employer, with research backing up that these types of flexible programs increase employee productivity and have a positive effect on the economy as well. One of the unique attributes of the Singapore economy is its high quality workforce so-“It has therefore become increasingly important to implement work-life strategies across all business sectors especially among SMEs as they comprise of individual small sized workforces that operate in a highly competitive market. By introducing funding schemes such as the WoW! Fund and Flexi-Works! Fund the Singapore government ensures that companies and employees reap the maximum benefits of adopting work- life balance programs.” According to “Assistance Schemes to Improve Staff Work- Life Balance” in guidemesingapore.com.
Founder & CEO, Tiger-Consulting