Govt can take the lead on flexi-work arrangements

In the light of studies showing that organisations which offer flexible working arrangements tend to have lower employee turnover, I am puzzled that not many employers are game enough to offer such options officially ("More firms offer ad hoc flexi-work"; Nov 22, and "Flexi-work can benefit firms"; Nov 23).

Work-life balance is an integral part of our lives, and all firms must look at it very closely if they are serious about keeping staff happy.

Employers must change their mindsets that their staff must work from 8.30am to 5pm and be present in the office to achieve the desired results. Instead, they just need to set goals and leave it to the staff to meet these targets.

This is the kind of philosophy reputed companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple adopt, and this trait sets them apart from the rest.

The Government has been proactive in many areas and has set some great examples, such as implementing maternity and paternity leave, parentcare leave and childcare leave.

I hope the Government and statutory boards lead by example by allowing staff who can work on flexi-work arrangements to exercise this option.

I have heard of a supervisor who once told his staff that they need not respond to e-mails or messages sent to them after working hours, as these are meant for attention the next day.

If only every supervisor had such an attitude, we would surely be able to arrive at an optimal work-life balance.

Rajasegaran Ramasamy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Govt can take the lead on flexi-work arrangements'. Print Edition | Subscribe