Is the hybrid WFH model the way forward?
Humans are creatures of habit. I am definitely one of them. I loved my routine of going to work in the city every day. Even though I had to commute, I enjoyed listening to podcasts, or catching up on the latest daily news headlines. I dragged my feet to moving to work from home (WFH) when the Singapore government raised the DORSCON level to orange. Soon enough Circuit Breaker was suddenly upon us and we no longer had an excuse and had to scramble to get a home office set up. Fast forward a few months and I’m enjoying the WFH setup. No commute into the office means a bit of a lie-in in the mornings, or time for a long run before work. Having lunch on the balcony to soak up some rays has also been a nice way to break up the workday. Granted, I know I had a pretty ideal situation. I did not have children at home that I had to home school whilst managing my own workload.
With the latest news from the government letting companies go back to the office at 50% capacity, I definitely was not raising my hand to go back. I have gotten way too comfortable with my routine and now I love it. Whereas I know for others it was a no-brainer decision to go straight back into the office. Partially to get away from the distractions from home, for more stable internet connection, or whatever other reason, the Singapore CBD is definitely feeling much more alive again.
It appears that the concept of a hybrid WFH situation might be the way forward. We all see the importance for face to face interactions, but also want the flexibility to work from wherever. I think it’s quite an attractive set up that many employers might adopt permanently.
What does this set up mean for employers and what should you be paying attention to?
From a productivity standpoint, it can make it easier now to motivate the team especially when you can gather together in person. Face to face interactions definitely make it easier for brainstorming and problem solving. It’s also great for building team and employee engagement, something that was harder to do virtually.
In our podcast interview with Yuying Deng from Esevel, she explained the duties employers have towards employees from an employment law standpoint. No matter the location of work, employers have to provide a safe working environment and not put them in harm’s way. This is included in the Workplace Safety Health Act and the Work Injury Compensation Act. One way to ensure this whilst your employees are working from home, is to get an ergonomic assessment or follow some guidelines on how to best set up a home office.
If you’re thinking of potentially going back to a coworking space or office either full time or part time, have you thought about your role as a tenant and what that entails? Most landlords will make you indemnify them for any damages caused by you to the property. A public liability insurance policy covers the liabilities of the company for the damage to rented office space, or injuries to others.
Whatever the right office set up is for you, make sure you’re aware of your obligations as an employer, tenant and that your decision reflects what’s best for your team. Anapi is providing startups with insurance solutions for whatever your working preference is; from full WFH scenarios to protect employees whilst at home, or coworking / dedicated office environments covering your liabilities as a tenant and protecting company laptops whilst on the move.