2 in 3 APAC firms implementing staggered return to workplace

APAC employers are taking a more cautious approach to returning to the workplace as compared to global companies.
By: | July 20, 2020

Employers in Asia Pacific are taking a cautious approach in returning to the workplace as two in three firms are implementing a staggered return for their employees, according to Mercer’s COVID-19 pulse survey.

As countries around the world start to ease restrictions and allow businesses to reopen, results from the survey show that APAC employers are taking more precautions as compared to their global counterparts.

Besides 66% of firms in the region (56% globally) introducing staggered return to the workplace to ensure safe distancing, 80% of companies in APAC plan to provide facemasks, compared to 63% globally.

READ: Asia-Pacific top destination for global business expansion

Additionally, insights into what PPE inventory is needed, when and where, and the range of testing available are part of an informed and dynamic return strategy.

Since not all jobs need to return to the workplace and not all work-from-home arrangements will outlive COVID-19, organizations are re-examining remote, flexible and blended working arrangements.

Mercer’s research found that one in two firms in APAC (50% compared to 66% globally) have arranged for greater flexibility to work from home, and data indicates employers are taking the opportunity to evaluate which roles can thrive in a remote-first environment.

“Asia was the first to be hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, impose
lockdowns and then emerge from them. Early experience shows that in the return to the workplace, organizations need to be transparent, flexible and prepared to respond and react swiftly to repeat cycles of lockdown, depending on local coronavirus infection rates,” Renee McGowan, CEO, Asia at Mercer said.

“Health and safety have been top of mind with safety measures, social distancing as well as flexible working arrangements including staggered hours and split teams emerging as new norms. How companies navigate these changes and challenges will no doubt shape the future of work and their organizations,” she added.