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Bigger Push For Flexible Work Arrangements In Singapore

The Tripartite Statement on Flexible Work Arrangements, released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in April, encourages companies to sustain and promote flexible work arrangements (FWAs). It comes with practical implementation tips that range from the whys to the hows and more, including advice on where to get more support.

FWAs have strengthened the resilience of workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, practices such as telecommuting and staggered work hours have become more prevalent as more employers and employees recognise the benefits of FWAs. Globally, employers are also increasingly embracing FWAs as part of the future of work.


From the employee perspective, surveys consistently show that workers desire a more flexible work arrangement. The recent Global Workplace Guide from Morgan McKinley reveals that only 9% of employees in Singapore want to work the traditional five-day workweek at the office, while an overwhelming 89% express a strong preference for continuing in a hybrid or remote work model. The findings show that professionals working in hybrid models have the highest contentment with their work patterns, with 38% willing to forego pay increases for their desired flexibility. One to two days at the office is the favoured weekly working pattern for 45% of respondents, while three to four days is favoured by 37%.

The recent Randstad 2024 Workmonitor Report shares that 49% of the Singapore workforce would leave jobs that require them to work in the office more often. Unsurprisingly, Gen Zs are the most likely to feel this way, with 69% of them agreeing with this statement. The data show that 42% of Singaporeans would not accept a job that is too inflexible. Among them, Gen Zs are again the most vocal – they would not work for a business that does not provide enough flexibility around their working hours (68%), and location (61%). The same survey finds that 26% of respondents have quit their jobs due to the lack of work flexibility.


FWAs help employees achieve better work-life harmony and promote a more engaged and productive workforce. These in turn benefit employers in terms of talent attraction and retention and, potentially, productivity. Having FWAs also help to enlarge the pool of manpower, to include caregivers and seniors, who might otherwise be unable to join the workforce.

The public service will take the lead – all public agencies have adopted the Tripartite Standard on FWAs. Eligible public officers in job roles which are conducive to hybrid work will be allowed to telecommute for an average of two days a week. The Public Service will also seek to develop new supervisory skills in terms of managing teams effectively in a hybrid work environment.


Employers who need more support for their FWAs can tap on these resources:

  • Playbook on Hybrid Workplaces by the Institute of Human Resource Practitioners (IHRP) provides guidance, case studies and resources on how to implement suitable practices, such as fair and effective management, assessment and appraisal of employees regardless of working arrangements.
  • Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements (TS-FWA) provides best practices for employers, and recognises progressive employers that implement them.
  • Grant support for pre-approved digital solutions (for example, under the Productivity Solutions Grant, SMEs Go Digital) which can reduce the need for on-site presence and facilitate remote working.
  • Work-Life Harmony Diagnostic Tools for Employers by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) helps employers to perform self-assessment of the work-life support and the level of employees’ work-life harmony including FWAs.
  • Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) conducts regular workshops to equip human resource practitioners with practical knowledge to implement FWAs effectively and sustainably. The workshop discusses the potential risks, employers’ legal obligations, and implementation of after-hours work communication policy to balance both business needs and employees’ well-being.

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