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4 minute read

How to Make the Most of the Hybrid Work Model

With flexible work arrangements embedded in the work landscape, how can employers maximise hybrid working to improve efficiency?


In recent years, new ways of working have taken root in Singapore workplaces. Organisations that experimented with flexible work arrangements (FWAs) for business continuity during the pandemic have continued to implement some forms of FWAs, with hybrid working being a popular option.

Employees value the blend of working from office and home, as it offers flexibility in managing work and personal responsibilities, while maintaining in-person interaction with colleagues. There have been mixed reviews from employers, with some having concerns that hybrid working could be disruptive and affect productivity.

As hybrid working looks set to stay, how can employers make the best use of this work model for improved work efficiencies and performance?

Find the sweet spot for your organisation

A good starting point is to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all arrangement for every organisation and employee. Factors such as job role, personal and work responsibilities, work culture or the conduciveness of the home environment can impact the extent to which the hybrid work model can be implemented.

It is crucial for leaders to understand their teams and consider various factors before deciding how to implement a hybrid working arrangement that best suits their needs.

For instance, GIC Private Limited has found that brainstorming, discussions and feedback sessions are effective when held onsite. In contrast, individual deep-focus activities such as data analysis and research are performed more effectively when working from home.

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Thus, they have implemented a practice of working in the office for a baseline of three days each week and giving individual teams the autonomy to choose their in-office days. They have also found the importance of having a set of key principles to empower employees to be accountable, such as embracing flexible hours and locations of work and focusing on results rather than face time.

Taking all these factors into account will help employers find the sweet spot of working onsite and from home that works best for their organisation.

Equip managers for the hybrid workplace

The hybrid work model may pose challenges for middle managers, as it may take more effort to manage teams in what is essentially a different work environment.

When managers are equipped with the skills to manage and engage employees as they work across different environments, they will be able to lead and support flexible working teams with greater confidence and fully commit to the implementation of a hybrid work model.

These skills include,

  • Setting clear expectations for hybrid working teams. This may include defining core work hours and days, start and end times and even communication methods.
  • Managing the performance of their teams, including tracking set goals and other performance indicators.
  • Having difficult conversations with employees around sensitive issues such as work performance.

Embed flexibility to attract talent

Finally, rather than implementing hybrid working as a stand-alone option due to its popularity, consider how you can embed flexibility as part of a work-life strategy to support talent attraction and retention. This can benefit recruitment efforts immensely – not just in hiring more talent, but also across a broader spectrum of society as well.

Progressive organisations are enhancing their employee value proposition when they prioritise employee well-being, and implementing FWAs is one way to do so.  One example is DBS Bank, which implemented permanent hybrid work, after surveying employees and identifying that FWAs are a key priority for the Gen Z and millennial demographics. This helped the organisation to create higher engagement with their existing workforce by meeting employee needs, and helped to attract new talent as well.

A flexible work model can also enable your organisation to expand the potential talent pool to supplement the workforce. This can be an effective hiring strategy, as it allows the organisation to tap into diverse sources of talent pools who could meaningfully contribute to work if their need for flexibility could be accommodated, such as persons with disabilities and those with caregiving responsibilities.

With the right preparation, hybrid working can be successfully implemented and add immense value to your organisation. The autonomy provided to employees to decide where they work helps to cultivate an engaged and effective workforce that will go the extra mile.

This article is contributed by TAFEP. Learn more about Flexible Work Arrangements and the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements.

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