Implementing flexible working arrangements in Singapore can be difficult, but it's something that needs to be managed by employers if they want to attract the best people.
This was the message from Hawazi Daipi, chairmain of the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, to CEOs at an event on Tuesday.
"Some employers have told me while they see the value of workplace flexibility, there are challenges in implementation. I understand that you have to manage the tensions in your own workplaces," he said.
"What we would like to share with employers is that they can manage the challenges if they understand the needs of their employees better, and in the process, they would be able to better retain their employees. It may cost a bit more, but in the long run, we will be able to retain good employees without compromising on corporate goals."
The TriCom has been set up to raise awareness on flexible working in Singapore, and also to focus on building companies' capabilities and developing an ecosystem for workplace flexibility.
This week is also Work-Life Week, which was initiated by the TriCom to help start conversations on work-life balance within local firms. They released a Tripartite Advisory on Flexible Work Arrangements last week to begin to help combat the resistance from employers.
"In some companies, the top management may be supportive but the line managers do not know how to manage workers requesting for, or on, flexible work arrangements," he added.
"In other companies, the employees may be unaware of the options available or are unsure of how to broach the subject with their supervisors."
Daipi finished his speech by expressing his gratitude to leaders wanting to make the effort to help boost flexible working as an option for employees in Singapore.
"A good leader influences but a great leader inspires effective change agents."
The government provides support for employers who wish to adopt flexible work arrangements, such as the WorkPro Work-Life Grant through the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress.