Returning to the workplace with confidence

Microsoft’s Return to Workplace solution is helping to create a safe and productive work environment in a resilient and digitally inclusive Singapore.
By: | December 22, 2021

For many organisations, 2022 represents a fresh opportunity to push ahead with recovery plans that will allow them to thrive and succeed in a new world of hybrid work.

While the way organisations work is unlikely to return to the way it was during pre-pandemic days; remote work, which has seen employees globally work from home (WFH) for months, is set to gradually transition to a hybrid work model in 2022, which will see groups of employees begin to return to the traditional workplace.

In Singapore, for instance, WFH, which has been the default work arrangement since September this year, will begin to decrease in frequency from January 1 onwards.

Describing how Singapore is now in a “better position to ease the current default WFH posture,” the country’s Ministry of Health has given the green light for up to 50% of employees to return to the workplace, contingent on a number of key criteria.

Only employees who are double vaccinated, or who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 270 days, can return to the workplace from 1 January 2022. As of 5 December 2021, about 97% of Singapore’s labour force have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with about 75,000 still unvaccinated.

Employers, on their part, need to ensure that employees declare their vaccination status, as well as schedule and manage on-premise ART tests. With social gatherings continuing to be disallowed at the workplace, HR leaders in Singapore have plenty to ponder on when they think about the integration of people, space, and technology, as they begin to formulate their return-to-workplace strategies and deliver the best employee experiences they can offer in a hybrid world of work.

How can they ensure a safe and efficient return to the workplace for employees? How can they assuage any lingering concerns that some employees may have when asked to return to the workplace? How can they also keep up with the continuously changing management measures while ensuring all-time readiness of their business facilities?

Microsoft empowers the return to workplace

Recognising that returning to the workplace in the midst of a pandemic is a scenario that very few organisations have had to face until now, Microsoft is offering the Return to Workplace Solution, which is designed to allow organisations to reopen responsibly, monitor intelligently, and protect continuously with solutions for a safer work environment.

The Return to Workplace Solution is built on the Microsoft Power Platform, which is supported by Microsoft Power Apps, the Microsoft Power BI business analytics service, and Microsoft Power Automate to provide executive leaders, facility managers, employees, task forces, as well as health and safety leaders, with helpful tools to create a safer and healthier work environment.

Integrating this Return to Workplace App with Microsoft Teams provides employees with a streamlined way to connect to the workplace and for seamless two-way communications between remote and onsite employees and leaders, including frontline workers. 

Within the Return to Workplace solution, the Location Readiness tool can help leaders and task forces to quickly determine the readiness of different work locations. They can efficiently manage their safe reopening across phased transitions using critical data such as COVID-19 infection rates and supplies availability.

The Employee Health and Safety Management tool empowers employees with a self-service portal that lets them check in remotely and self-screen before entering facilities. Organisations can also comply with emerging vaccine guidelines by enabling workers to submit vaccine attestations and test results.

The Workplace Care Management tool provides health and safety leaders with the tools to identify potential infections, manage cases to ensure care in quarantine, and notify exposed individuals. Actively managing all COVID-19 cases, this feature also identifies hot spots for safety management, and imports data from other systems to aid in case management.

The Location Management feature allows facility managers to keep locations safe with reporting and systems that monitor and control occupancy by area and phase. They can also monitor health supplies, safety procedures, and other facility related best practices, and comply with emerging vaccine guidelines with tools to set up vaccination attestation, accommodation, and periodic testing policies.

Click here to find out more about how the Microsoft Return to Workplace solution can help your employees return to the workplace safely and with confidence.