Are you familiar with the term 9 to 5? 9 to 5 is famously known as a routine job where a person works from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon. But here in Singapore, the usual working hours are from nine to six. For some people, a 9 to 5 job is a great option for them to distinguish between working and personal life. But this doesn’t apply to everyone.
According to a recent study done by The Adecco Group, it was found that the pandemic may have just called an end to the traditional 9 to 5 jobs. Because out of the 1,500 workers across Asia surveyed, about 70% of them claimed that they prefer more flexibility over their working schedules. Luckily for employees in Singapore, some companies do offer this flexibility.
What are Flexible Work Arrangements?
Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are variations from the usual work arrangements. This means that, unlike the usual 9 to 5 routine jobs, employers and employees have the option to adjust their work arrangements according to their preferences. FWAs are great in attracting talent competitively. And with the option to set their own schedules and responsibilities, FWAs can boost employees’ productivity. There are three different types of FWAs:
Employees have the flexibility to work at any time of the day as long as they complete the stipulated working hours within the week, usually not more than 44 hours. Flexi-hour is usually implemented when the job is not dependent on client and staff meetings.
An arrangement where employees specify the days or hours they can work and their working hours are scheduled according to those hours. This work arrangement is particularly useful if the employee is working two or more jobs at a time.
- Employees’ choice of day-offs
Employees have the option to plan their working hours and determine their day(s) off. What this means is that employees are not restricted to only working over the weekdays. To ensure that operations run smoothly even when some employees are on their days off, employers can implement balloting.
- Creative scheduling
This involves work schedules that are flexible and meet the needs of specific employees. For example, if an employee has other personal commitments and cannot follow the usual 9 to 5 working schedule, they can apply creative scheduling to give themselves more flexibility.
- Compressed work schedule
Employees are allowed to compress their work schedule to fit fewer days than normal. For instance, instead of working 40 hours per five days, they can increase their working hours per day and only complete 40 hours in three to four days.
- Part-time work
An arrangement where employees work reduced hours, usually less than 35 hours per week, regularly.
- Interim work
Hiring employees for a specific time or project, be it on a part-time or full-time basis. Some examples of interim works are seasonal and project-based works. Seasonal work is when employees are hired during peak seasons to support existing manpower. Project-based work, on the other hand, is hiring someone to work specifically on a project until its completion.
- Job sharing
Instead of hiring one full-time employee, job sharing allows for two or more part-time employees to share the same responsibilities. The responsibilities may be delegated to both employees in terms of functions, time, workload, and location. Employees sharing the same job usually work at different times during the day or on alternate days and weeks.
- Phased retirement
For retired employees who wish to continue working, they can try phased retirement. Phased retirement allows them to work part-time with a more flexible work schedule after retirement. Organisations can also redesign the roles of older employees.
- Weekend work
An arrangement that benefits part-time employees who may only be available over the weekends.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of today’s employees have adapted to remote working. The survey of over 1,500 workers across Asia by The Adecco Group has also found that over 30% of the respondents are keener on working from home. Flexi-place allows employees to work in locations other than their workplace. Since employees are working remotely, they rely on communication and information technologies to connect with each other.
What this means for employers and employees
When implementing FWAs, employers must ensure that they are being fair and progressive. Some of the rules and regulations that they must understand include working hours, overtime, working hours for part-time workers, Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA), and Workplace Injury Compensation Act (WICA). Employers should also refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Flexible Work Arrangements to ensure that they adhere to the standard.
As for employees, before agreeing to any FWAs, they must consider the suitability of the work arrangements, the performance evaluation, remuneration, and the operational details such as the type of work, the working hours, the start and end date, the location, and more. When dealing with FWAs, employees must ensure that they communicate their work arrangements with other employees to avoid any misunderstandings and miscommunications. For more information about FWAs in Singapore, send in your questions with us.