The Straits Times
Published on Jan 25, 2013

Small steps to work flexibility


IT IS a myth that flexible work arrangements mean lower output and less commitment on the part of the employee.

Different flexible work arrangements suit different individuals and companies.

An employee working in a company where the management has little flexi-work knowledge can take the initiative to propose a pilot scheme that suits operations.

For example, a parent who needs to send his children to school by 7am can request to work from 7.30am to 4pm, even though the normal working hours are from 9am to 5.30pm.

As long as the employees produce good work with minimal supervision, employers should support such proposals.

It will be good if the employee reciprocates by remaining contactable for urgent matters beyond 4pm, as the organisation is still in operation.

Refinement of such a pilot scheme may be the first step towards more subsequent flexibility, like allowing employees to work from home one afternoon a week. Again, it is important to start with small steps.

The initiative may turn out to be a seed that fosters a culture of work flexibility, where employees perform better as a result of work-life harmony.

Yeo Miu Ean (Ms)