Staff Should Return To Work Only If They Need Specialised Equipment, Have Legal Requirements
After ‘Circuit Breaker’ ends on 1 Jun, Singapore will enter Phase 1, the first step towards the new norm post-Covid.
Even though some restrictions will be eased, the vast majority of citizens are still expected to work from home during this period.
This was announced by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who also said that employers must adjust their mindsets to accommodate working from home as the new norm.
Although more citizens will return to work during Phase 1, he expects the vast majority of the workforce to continue working from home.
Staff should only go to work for legal/equipment reasons
In a Facebook post on Saturday (23 May), Mr Wong highlighted that staff should only return to work if they need specialised equipment that cannot be accessed from home.
Employees should also only go to work to fulfill legal obligations, like transactions or contractual requirements.
Otherwise, employees – especially those who work in office settings – should continue to work from home.
Employers should consider hybrid arrangements
Mr Wong also advises employers and managers to adjust their mindset on whether staff have to be physically present at work.
If essential staff do not need to be onsite daily, employers should consider hybrid arrangements.
This way employees can work from home a few days every week.
Employers must ensure work environment is safe
If staff really have to be in office, employers have to ensure that the work environment is safe.
Their workspace should offer good ventilation and meet strict hygiene standards.
Employers should also seat staff apart, and offer them staggered work hours to minimise risk of transmission between workers.
Phase 1 isn’t the end of safety measures
While Singapore’s Covid-19 situation has improved overall, we are not out of the woods yet.
Transitioning to Phase 1 doesn’t mean that prior measures are null and void.
If anything, we should be even more cautious as the ease in restrictions mean that more people will be out and about, making transmissions more likely.
Featured image adapted from Facebook.