SingTel has announced that it will begin a one-year pilot programme on home-based work in early April.
The Singapore-based telco was given the go-ahead by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), after the agency had issued a Call for Collaboration tender 'Pilot for Home-Based Work'.
The object of the initiative is to demonstrate the viability of home-based work, allowing employees to be connected to their customers and offices. Seven other companies are joining SingTel in a consortium to run the programme.
The pilot is targeting the 326,000 economically inactive residents in Singapore estimated by the Ministry of Manpower. These potential workers include housewives, retirees and disabled persons.
"Together with our consortium members in the CFC, SingTel is committed to uncovering insights that will help companies offer home-based work to attract and retain talent, manage costs, improve productivity and enhance business agility," said Andrew Lim, managing director (Business Group), Group Enterprise, SingTel.
The members include consulting firm Ernst & Young, education centre Rainforest e-Learning, interior designers IDV Concepts, CRM vendor Ascentis, contact centre provider Innovax Systems, the Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI), and HR firm Growth Point Consultancy.
"It would also give more Singaporeans the opportunity to re-join the workforce and be gainfully employed. Companies and their home-based workers would also reap the intangible benefits of greater work-life harmony," said Lim.
Taking part in the trial are 30 employees from five companies. SingTel and Ernst & Young will participate in the pilot programme as representatives of enterprises which employ home-based workers while the SME segment will be represented by Ascentis, Rainforest e-Learning and IDV Concepts.
"From a tactical viewpoint, we are innovating our own operations and products, but we are also thinking ahead in terms of what platforms our customers will need in two to three years' time," said Chong Lee Fong, director, product marketing, emerging technology, SingTel.
Solutions that will be piloted include:
- Fibre-optimised unified communications (IP based voice, chat and video calls) such as SingTel i-PhoneNet and WorldConference WeMeet to make it easy for home-based workers to stay connected to their colleagues.
- Online storage and collaboration applications like Oystor to facilitate file sharing with the office.
- Cloud-based call centre technologies like Ops Central On Demand to empower home-based workers.
- An e-Learning platform that brings teachers, students and their parents together to change the way learning can be provided from the teacher's home to the student's home.
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