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What it takes to encourage telecommuting in Singapore

Nurdianah Md Nur | March 28, 2017
Only 50 percent of Singaporeans are working remotely, according to Polycom's study.

woman on desk working from home
Credit: GraphicStock

Ensuring a fair, equal policy for all employees could be the way of getting more Singaporeans to join in the global trend of telecommuting.

The 'Guide to Anywhere Working' survey revealed that only 50 percent of the 2,000 Singaporean respondents are working remotely. Two-thirds (67 percent) of them said they would feel more confident working flexibly if the same policy was applicable to everyone across the company.

Commenting on the findings, Toh Hwee Tin, Director of NTUC's Women and Family Unit said that while flexi-work arrangements were offered by many companies, these were mostly informal and not supported with policies or embedded in company's culture.

"The demographics of our workforce in Singapore comprising working parents, millennials and baby boomers, is ever changing and similarly, their working requirements. To encourage a family-friendly work culture, the responsibility shouldn't just lie with the human resource department but it should be championed by the company's leadership and embraced company-wide. With proper flexible working policies in place, employees can strike a balance in their lives and business continuity measures can also be assured, particularly in times of crisis such as the Zika scare we faced recently in Singapore," Toh claimed.

Conducted by Morar Consulting on behalf of Polycom, the study surveyed 25,234 consumers from 12 countries globally. The countries include United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, Germany, Russia, France, Australia and China.

Technology was also found to be a key enabler of remote working. Seventy percent of the Singapore CXOs surveyed believe that the challenges of flexi-work can be overcomed by deploying the right tools.

Majority of APAC respondents (97 percent) also said that collaboration technologies are important in bringing colleagues together to overcome flexible work challenges. Similarly, 91 percent of millennial respondents from across the global claimed that video collaboration helped them get to know their co-workers better.

Besides that, the study found that 98 percent of the respondents believe that telecommuting positively impacted their productivity.  

"The adoption of modern and flexible work styles is important in the digital era. Transformational technologies like video collaboration are changing the way we work and live, impacting everything from workspace design, to workflow and office culture. The growth in flexible working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Zi Ning Chong. 


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