Singapore companies prepare to return to the workplace

At the same time, companies are preparing for a new normal in a post COVID-19 world, reported a new Aon pulse survey.
By: | May 15, 2020

Most companies (89%) in Singapore will defer to the government’s guidance for work sites when developing a safe return-to-workplace strategy, a new Aon pulse survey has revealed.

Singapore’s ‘circuit breaker’ measures are expected to be gradually lifted from June 2 onwards, paving the way for companies to return to their workplaces.

83% of the survey respondents also indicated that they would look at advice from health agencies such as the World Health Organisation. Half of the companies surveyed will also leverage their internal experts to prepare for the situation.

Temperature screening is one measure companies will continue to implement, while one-third of respondents have or are considering launching a formal COVID-19 assessment programme for staff. Another one-third of respondents said they would prefer health assessment surveys.

A people-first philosophy is also now a priority for many companies. 76% of companies are now providing scheduling flexibility to employees with children, and 54% of companies are allowing employees to use sick leave for COVID-19 related quarantines.

36% of companies are allowing employees to use sick leave to care for children when they are off from school, 24% are providing as-needed payments or equipment purchases to assist employees with work-from-home arrangements, and 21% of companies are providing temporary increases in sick leave entitlements.

Additionally, 12% of companies have implemented additional compensation programmes for employees in higher-risk roles, with another 6% actively considering such measures.

When asked how the experience of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic might change future workforce strategies, 32% of the companies surveyed acknowledged the need to review their operations, and said they are considering a long-term restructuring of their operations and workforce.

Alexander Krasavin, Partner, Radford and Regional Commercial Head, APAC & MEA at Aon, said, “The first signs of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy are just beginning to emerge. Business leaders in Singapore are grappling with challenges that affect every aspect of their organisation.

“They must make well-considered decisions on returning to the workplace that will not only protect their balance sheets but also their people. The human capital decisions businesses make now will shape the future of work and indeed their organisations.”