Achieving Work-Life Harmony in Singapore
Singapore is often lauded to be a stellar example of a nation. From glittering skyscrapers to trendy malls, state of the art facilities and infrastructure – we have it all. We are a growing nation that has come a long way since independence.
A growing nation definitely has growing needs. Along with our technological developments and economic progress, the backbone of our society must not be forgotten – families.
But therein lies the problem, for many Singaporeans shy away from the idea of growing their families in fear of the inevitable challenges that come with straddling family and career aspirations. That’s why whole society support is important for families to thrive. One of the key areas of support comes from workplaces – where employers can make a huge difference in helping employees juggle work and family commitments. Even before the Covid-19 situation unfolded, here are some companies that have put family-friendly work practices in place to support employees in harmonising work and life.
Emergenetics Asia Pacific: believes in quality over quantity – that the performance of employees should be measured by their output, not hours spent at work!
Recognising their employees’ home commitments, the company has built an inclusive culture that values families and loved ones. Staff are allowed to customise their workday to integrate and harmonise the demands of their work and life needs. Examples include compressed work schedules by compacting hours within a week to free up time for other pursuits, flexible work hours and telecommuting options.
Emergenetics Asia Pacific offers a whole range of leave for employees who require time-off work to attend to personal matters. They even offer social leave for singles to get out there and mingle!
Moreover, the workplace is made inclusive and comfortable for both employees and their family members by providing a nursing room, welcoming employees to bring their children to work and inviting family members to join their year-end celebratory events.
Speaking to the Asianparent, Jan Ng, Manager, Client Success, said:
“Even after utilising all of my maternity leave, Emergenetics Asia Pacific still allowed me to work from home a few days a week when I couldn’t find appropriate child care for my daughter. This allowed me to meaningfully be with my little one while still contributing to the company”.
Lucas Tan, Assistant Director, Business Development and Partnerships, added:
“Flexible work arrangement allows me to raise a family by making equal contributions. My wife is a teacher and her work schedule is fixed, so having flexible work arrangements means I can be there for my 18-month old son when my wife needs to be in school. This arrangement also allows me to spend quality time with my son during his growing years.” – Lucas Tan, Assistant Director, Business Development and Partnerships
M. TECH SG: believes that employees are valuable to the organization; helping them to cope with family commitments will improve their work focus and retain them in the organisation.
Even before the Covid-19 situation, the company allowed flexible work hours and for staff to work from home when they have matters to attend to. They even loan out laptops to employees whose children need to attend e-learning sessions at home, but do not have the necessary devices.
The employees are highly appreciative of the company’s understanding and flexibility to accommodate their family commitments. They are also more willing to go the extra mile to contribute back to the organisation.
Republic Polytechnic: is committed to building a happy and engaged workforce with one of their key values being a People-and family-oriented organisation.
RP believes that work-life harmony is important for creating a family-friendly environment. As such, it offers staggered working hours, telecommuting schemes, part-time and associate schemes for greater flexibility. All of these have been in place prior to the circuit breaker measures.
In addition, RP has implemented family-friendly support initiatives such as a dedicated [email protected] Committee to look after the well-being of employees, corporate passes to attractions and 15 meeting rooms allocated as nursing rooms. They are just a few of the many initiatives they have in place.
RP’s employees are consistently satisfied with the family-friendly culture in RP as demonstrated by high scores in various staff satisfactions surveys as well as regular appreciation email from staff on family-friendly policies.
Ms Wong Yuan Fong, Deputy Manager of Office of Organisation & Service Excellence, Republic Polytechnic
“I am humbled to say that I will soon be celebrating my 10th anniversary working at RP. RP is a nurturing and dynamic workplace and it has provided me with opportunities to grow and develop myself both professionally and personally.
During my years in RP, I have expanded my family and am blessed with two lovely children. As a working mother, the strong support from my superb supervisor and teammates, as well as RP’s flexible work arrangements and work-life initiatives have allowed me to cope well with work and family matters.
There was a time where I was going through a challenging period and needed a break from work. I truly appreciated the support and understanding from my senior management, Head of Department and supervisor who granted my No-Pay leave to rest and rejuvenate myself for about one and a half months.”
City Development Limited: believes that family-friendly work arrangements allow employees to have greater control over their lives and work responsibilities thus leading to increased morale and job satisfaction. The organisation is constantly looking beyond the basics to differentiate themselves from competitors.
The company offers staggered hours to staff with family commitments, flexi arrangements and occasional telecommuting options, even before the Covid pandemic occurred. They also offer a Flexible Benefits Scheme for employees to select the level of benefits coverage that best suits their current stage in life.
The company goes the extra mile in providing the Family Event Leave to encourage employees to care for their loved ones, Eat With Your Family Day four times annually on the last Friday of each school term when employees are granted an early release by 1.5 hours and a Bring Your Kids To Work day, among other things.
As CDL truly believes in the benefits of retaining their staff, they even provide an Employee Assistance Programme to assist them in areas of interpersonal relations, marriage and family. Short-term, non-judgmental and confidential help is offered in the form of telephonic, face-to-face or electronically delivered consultations by accredited professional counsellors.
Chew Shuhua, Senior Executive, Sales & Marketing shared:
“I’ve opted to start work at 8a.m. since I returned from maternity leave two years ago. I’ve benefitted greatly from this as I’m able to avoid the peak hour congestion when I leave office which enables me to fetch my child on time”
Gaston Chee, Manager, Engineering Design & Technical Services mentioned:
“The flexi arrangement allows me to send my daughter to her childcare on my way to work and allows me to avoid the peak travelling period.”
These are just a few of the many companies that are striving to do their best to support families. Especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, families need additional support as the nation comes together to emerge stronger from the crisis. Everyone has a part to play and together, we can foster a society that is Made for Families, by laying a foundation of support.