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IDA wants to introduce work smart centres in Singapore’s neighbourhoods

Jack Loo | May 15, 2013
Community spaces to be used to encourage flexible work arrangements

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today held an industry briefing for its Smart Work Centres Call-for-Proposal (SWC CFP). The move is part of the agency's drive to promote flexible working arrangements in the island nation.

"Today, technology advancement and the deployment of enhanced infocomm infrastructure such as the Next Gen NBN have made such flexible working arrangements more viable," said Ronnie Tay, chief executive officer, IDA.

"I encourage players in the infocomm and SWC industry as well as user enterprises to participate actively in this SWC CFP, and realise more of these flexible working arrangements in the near future," said Tay.

Introduced as part of the efforts to increase the awareness and acceptance among employers on bringing work closer to the homes and community, IDA's plan involves setting up SWCs equipped with professional facilities similar to those found in the office environment.

The SWC CFP involves collaboration with the National Library Board (NLB) and People's Association, which will be offering a total of five community spaces, for selected proposals to set up and operate SWCs. These spaces are located in Jurong Regional Library, Geylang East Public Library, Toa Payoh Public Library, Kampong Ubi Community Centre and Kolam Ayer Community Club.

IDA has also indicated that while interested SWC operators are welcome to propose their preferred locations, the identification of five community spaces is to encourage SWC operators to set up centres closer to where employees live.

With IDA as the lead agency, the SWC CFP was set up in consultation with Employer Alliance (EA), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress - Women's Development Secretariat (NTUC WDS) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

Successful reference models from this SWC CFP could be used to facilitate subsequent nationwide adoption and eventually lay the foundation for a SWC ecosystem, which extends beyond networks of SWC facilities to include value-added services such as human resource and change management consultancy and training.

The SWC CFP follows the award of the Call-for-Collaboration to pilot Home-based Work earlier this year, where proposals were selected to carry out pilots in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, healthcare and education.


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