Remote Working Trends in Singapore
Cost of fuel, parking fee, new office wear, eating out, and the long hours of a commute from home to the office is just a few of the many things employees endure. And that was a long time ago before COVID-19. Since 2020 when the city-state started implementing lockdown and health protocols, there are 9 out of 10 employees in Singapore who wish to continue with the work-from-home scheme.
As Singapore claims the title World’s Best Place to Be During Covid knocking down New Zealand, what could be the next best things to happen in terms of working trends? Will Singapore’s resilience and ease of movement put an end to remote work? Will employees be coming back to the office? Are employers looking at the face-to-face modes of operating their business?
The road to recovery from COVID-19 is long and winding. But Singapore is not backing down. Let’s take a look at the biggest working trends in Singapore (and possibly the most unexpected) in 2022 and beyond.
1. Hybrid and flexible work arrangements
People searching for jobs using the keywords “remote work” have impressively increased according to a report. One out of 40 searches seems so low but experts say this is already four times higher than the searches made for remote work before the pandemic.
Employers adapted to this trend leading them to post job vacancies that offer work-from-home arrangements. The same report revealed three examples of job categories which saw a rise in demand for flexible work terms:
Before the pandemic: 3.2% of job posts
During the pandemic: 10.7% of job posts
Before the pandemic: 2.3% of job posts
After the pandemic: 16.2% of job posts
Media and Communications
Before the pandemic: 2.2% of job posts
After the pandemic: 15.9% of job posts
After the Circuit Breaker, many are expecting Singapore’s work trend will be marked mainly with employees cooped at home carefully embracing the balance between home and work demands. However, top HR leaders and company heads came up with the following data forecasting what awaits employment post-pandemic:
- About 12% were in favour of being in the office full time
- About 20% seeks work from home five days a week
- About 67% looks at hybrid working
Hybrid working allows people to work remotely but not all the time. Soon, work trends will be a mix of office time and home time.
2. Robotics and telemedicine in remote setup
The new normal will speed up technology innovations and businesses in Singapore will look at the possibility of exploring these industry trends that will keep growing even after COVID-19:
The new normal is reimagining healthcare. Digital health solutions will disrupt the way hospital and health care providers operate, conduct diagnoses, implement treatment, monitor patients, and hold consultations.
Doctors and specialists will employ video solutions to interact with their patients. Video conferencing tools will be embedded into existing health platforms maximising the use of video application programming interfaces (APIs).
Robotics in the workforce
Robots are gaining traction in the delivery and service industries paving the way for Singapore to be second to South Korea in installing robots for businesses. This is in line with the pandemic’s call to reduce human contact and bolster the workforce.
By 2025, Singapore’s inclination to a 5G network will pave the way for robotics’ seamless integration into the workforce with better connectivity and faster speeds.
3. 5Gs will drive automation growth
Singapore companies are tapping technologies from Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia to improve internet connectivity and cover the entire city-state with 5G technology by 2025. 5Gs will now be boosting the future of remote work paving the way to easily automise business processes.
HR and accounting departments will keep up with the challenge of digitisation and seek faster and easier ways to accomplish the following:
Remote work will open opportunities for companies to access a more diverse pool of talents allowing for them to tap the best in the industry. Hiring managers will no longer lose that opportunity to take the best candidate just because their internal processes are done manually.
Reimbursement and invoicing
Expense management is a process that involves recording employee expenses, executing payments, and tracking expenses. The manual process of collecting expense data will no longer work in a remote work scheme.
Invoice automation and employee reimbursements will no longer be subject to delays. When everyone in Singapore is enjoying 5G connectivity, even employees can submit their expense claims in real-time and reimbursable expenses can be paid as soon as possible.
Invoicing will also be accomplished swiftly and companies providing products and services can get paid as planned. Improved connectivity and automation tools will disrupt the traditional business models allowing for the payment of contractors accurately.
Before closing a sales deal, admins are flooded with paper works to populate contracts and get things ready for the accounting department. Automation platforms can help generate the data from different sources allowing for faster and more accurate CRM data for the business.
Manual accounting and finance processes can leave money on the table or worse, can go into someone else’s pockets. Automation of the budget can simply be done by assigning and customising allowances for employee use. Companies with remote employees can use corporate cards with pre-approved budgets to pay suppliers and contractors.
Automated budget approvals can lead businesses owners to have a clearer view of their spending and the company’s entire financial health.
Helpdesk and customer support
The shift to digitisation allows customers to reach out and send their queries. At the same time, employees with problems can raise their concerns and be addressed properly with a ticketing system.
4. Employees working from home may experience pay cuts
Google rolled out a pay calculator which could let employees, who choose to work from home, lose some money. Facebook and Twitter also implemented a pay cut on employees relocating to less expensive areas. The adaptation of this scheme by prominent large companies in Silicon Valley usually sets the trend followed by smaller companies all over the world.
The following might be some reasons these businesses have implemented the pay cut scheme:
The Employee’s role is less important
Those required to report to the office are often part of the management team. Some business owners argue that those who are allowed to stay at home can be easily replaceable.
Work-from-home employees are less engaged
A recent study showed that employees who work from home are less engaged compared to those who report to the office. Less engagement often leads to less positive outcomes.
Working from home is cheaper
Employees who work from home will potentially have higher savings because they no longer pay for transport and other expenses related to office commute.
Remote work will more likely be permanent
With experts forecasting that the coronavirus will stay with us forever, it is more likely for remote work schemes to be the future of businesses. With distance impacting the way we do business, entrepreneurs and business owners should find ways to combat the downside of working from home.
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