SINGAPORE, Oct 18 — After battling with the thought of quitting her job for weeks, Adriana (not her real name) decided that she had had enough after her third visit to the clinic for chest pains saw her being referred to the accident and emergency department in a hospital. With “homeworking” taking root amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees in Singapore find themselves being pushed to the limits, as the boundaries between work and home become blurred. Coronavirus (COVID19) requires that we work and study from home to limit the spread of the outbreak. Her bosses also thought that work could be delivered within tight timelines as everything was done digitally. The woman, a 23-year-old work permit holder from Malaysia, was among five new cases of Covid-19 infection reported yesterday, all of which were imported. “It’s so easy to set up meetings on Zoom so there were suddenly more meetings than ever before,” he said. Some companies also have alternative channels for feedback that employees could take advantage of. This is especially needed at a time when workaholism is perpetuated due to employees’ fear of losing their jobs amid the current economic situation, she said. Carmen Wee, a veteran HR practitioner, said one way employers can create better work-life balance for their employees is to build trust and stop micromanaging. Singapore's Covid Success Isn't Easily Replicated The model requires an amount of state intervention and compliance that might be less feasible in other parts of the world. SPH Digital News / Copyright © 2020 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. Working Remotely from Singapore due to COVID-19. (File photo: Marcus Mark Ramos) He is a work permit holder who is employed by Singapore General Hospital, but has not started work yet. “My GP (general practitioner) said to me ‘Nowadays, people either get Covid-19 and suffer or they don’t and suffer while working.’. SINGAPORE - The working from home arrangement will continue in order to guard against potential Covid-19 transmission. SINGAPORE — Employees working from home need to stay connected, avoid distractions and maintain a routine, experts told TODAY on Wednesday (Feb 12). He noted that working from home has been beneficial on numerous fronts, such as by reducing congestion on public transport and in minimising the number of people coming together in the workplace. This difference is something managers need to … COVID-19: Jail, fines for employers who do not allow employees to work from home where possible Office workers at Raffles Place in Singapore. Zaqy added that the rigid enforcement of the boundary between work and personal life might also impede some workers, who enjoy the flexibility of caring for their children, running errands in the day and working at night. Singapore Covid-19: Need for boundaries when working from home Sunday, 18 Oct 2020 06:46 AM MYT Jonathan Tan, managing director of UnaBiz, an Internet of Things network operator, says he has initially struggled with the transition to working from home. New Work from home Jobs in Singapore available today on JobStreet - Quality Candidates, Quality Employers To help their employees disconnect from work, some bosses TODAY spoke to have implemented new practices and ways of working to enable their staff to get work done and prioritise personal and family time. Wee said that if employees are unable to set boundaries through open communication with their managers — which she says should be the first step — they should talk to their HR personnel in a confidential setting. “If we took leave to rest or were on medical leave, they assumed we had nothing to do because we’re home anyway and would still ask us to follow up on work,” said Adriana. Unemployment claims in the U.S. are skyrocketing, setting a modern record of … These websites will help you find remote work. “Zoom meetings are also inherently more stressful because there are so many faces focused on you and when you feel that everyone is looking at you, it can be very straining.”. "We'd still like to see as far as possible a high degree of people working from home," Mr Wong said. Stella said she would work 12 to 15 hours a day, from the moment she woke up until past midnight where she went straight to bed. Employers should continue to … ... to keep everyone in Singapore safe from COVID-19. Soon enough, they will accept it,” he added. The gift link for this subscriber-only article has expired. She was told after a series of tests that her chest pains were a symptom of anxiety and she had experienced a panic attack. “I even had to take a work call before going to the A&E because we were just really short handed,” said Adriana, in her mid-20s. If you have been exercising overseas employment but are now working remotely from Singapore due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, we are prepared to treat you as not exercising an employment in Singapore, if … After entering Singapore, all PCA travellers, including Singapore PRs, have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. Dow is a global materials science company. Since remote working began for his team, Adam Esoof Piperdy, chief executive officer and founder of events company Unearthed Productions, decided to purchase workplace communication platform Slack to create a distinction between work messages and casual chats on WhatsApp. With coronavirus community cases tapering down and with Phase 3 of Singapore’s reopening around the corner, is it time to reverse this biggest work-from-home experiment? He arrived in Singapore from Japan on 26 November and was placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at a dedicated facility until 10 December. All done! “At least once a month, we also allow our employees to knock off an hour earlier on Friday so that they can start the weekend early and spend quality time with their families and friends,” he added. However, some human resource experts told TODAY that it is unrealistic to implement “right to disconnect” legislation in Singapore. The task force is still reviewing the work-from-home arrangement and may modify the rules, with feedback from employers who have requested for more flexibility, said Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has shut down three workplaces that made staff go back to working on-site unnecessarily when their work could have been completed from home. Ireland is on Level 5 restrictions until 31 January 2021. SINGAPORE — From next Monday (Sept 28), workers who have been home-based during the Covid-19 pandemic may return to offices for up to half of their total working time. She said she would often start work at 9am the next day despite staying up till 4am. Getty. By Since September 28, more employees in Singapore have been allowed to return to the workplace, although safe-management protocols must be in place and employers are encouraged to implement measures such as flexible working hours and staggered reporting times. Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month for the first 3 months. On how employees can set boundaries for themselves, Paul Heng, founder of NeXT Career Consulting Group, said that setting expectations is the rule of the game, and employees have to make it crystal clear that they are not going to be on call, unless it is an emergency. How Singapore fights COVID with contact tracing: 5 things to know. For the duration of the pandemic, many employees will be forced to work from home. Sign up for our daily updates here and get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Employers should continue to keep this as the default arrangement unless employees have a demonstrable need to return to the workplace, such as to use specialised equipment, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong in a virtual multi-ministry press conference on Thursday (Aug 6). It is, therefore, important for supervisors to be enlightened. Speaking to TODAY, she recounted how her days dragged on and were filled with unscheduled calls because being home meant that her colleagues and clients assumed she would be available for work calls at all times. While she worked late nights previously, working until 4am only became commonplace after she began working from home. Anyone in Singapore who requires a coronavirus test will be able to get one from an approved provider from Dec. 1 as the country seeks to resume more economic and social activities. On October 14, MP Yong again spoke in parliament about the “right to disconnect” issue, noting that a law would help employees have protected time to rest and recharge. But things are more manageable now, after he sought to establish clear boundaries between work time and personal time. Benefits of a Work From Home Policy During COVID-19 A work from home policy offers a variety of benefits to both the remote employee and their employers. SINGAPORE - When the circuit breaker ends, all companies - including those resuming operations in the first two phases of the economy's reopening - should adopt working from home as a … By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy. And it is not only employees who have had to grapple with mental stress and long hours; even those in management positions have had their fair share of problems in dealing with the new work arrangements. A pre-departure test he had taken on 24 November was negative for COVID-19 infection, and his test on 6 December during SHN came back negative too. How can you work and study from home effectively? For the rest of weekdays, last meetings of the day are scheduled to start at 5pm so that they can end by 6pm. Her first two visits were for headaches from lack of sleep and stress, and for gastric pains from skipping meals and taking painkillers. Piperdy has also implemented mandatory no-meeting days on Friday as a “mental break for everybody just to chill out, kind of like extended weekend”. Coronavirus: Singapore should encourage working from home over closing ... authorities would be better off encouraging half the country’s employees to work from home … In Hong Kong, all work related injuries must be covered by an employees’ compensation insurance. Read 3 articles daily and stand to win ST rewards, including the ST News Tablet worth $398. All new cases are imported and there are no new local transmissions. “It was horrible because I had to react to a lot of issues that had to be resolved right away with our partners. However, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, in his reply to Yong, noted that since many workers in Singapore are employed in companies covering different time zones, it might not be feasible to pass laws that would give workers the right to ignore work calls and emails after business hours. SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 29 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Saturday (9 January), taking the country’s total case count to 58,865. Such a law was first enacted in France in 2017. “With the work phone, they can actually detach (themselves) from needing to check on the phone (outside) of working hours, as compared (to) using their own phones,” she said. SINGAPORE: AIA Singapore employees will receive S$1,000 as part of the company’s work from home assistance scheme to support staff members amid the COVID-19 outbreak. You should work from home unless you are providing an essential service and need to be physically present. For all (new and existing) Work Permit, Training Work Permit and S Pass holders entering Singapore from 1 January 2021, you must buy medical insurance with a coverage of at least $10,000 for their medical expenses if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive within 14 days of arrival in Singapore. Singapore News -Months of working from home lead to calls for adopting flexi-work as standard practice.. ... Telecommuting amid Covid-19 pandemic paves way for new workplace culture. Employers should check with its existing insurance providers to ensure that their existing work injury insurance covers any injuries arising out of or in the course of the employee’s employment when the employee works from home. Other countries such as Italy and the Philippines have since taken steps to push forth similar legislation. Over at web development and digital marketing firm FirstCom Solutions, general manager Lynn Wong said that about 80 of her client-facing employees have been given corporate mobile phones. Workers in an organisation that has more than 50 employees are forbidden from sending or replying to emails after certain hours. “They are unable to disconnect as they don’t really check the time and they get very engrossed with replying to messages at any time of the day. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Angela Kuek, director of recruitment firm Meyer Consulting Group, said: “I think they can encourage these kinds of practices, but how much of it is actually put in play or how successful all these can be is another question. ... the more people pretend to work from home and watch Netflix, the better. 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