Employees Can Return To Offices For Up To Half Of Their Working Hours

After months of working from home due to Covid-19, a return to your dusty office desk and cobweb-covered mugs in your offices will soon be allowed.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that from Monday (28 Sep), workers can return to their offices during up to half of their working hours.

For example, if you have a 6-day work week, you can go back to the office for up to 3 days a week.

Also, business and work events can resume in workplaces, with up to 50 people allowed.

Employees can go to office up to half the time

If you’re working 40 hours a week, you can go back for up to 20 hours. The math might get a little confusing depending on your work arrangement, but just know that 50% is the limit.

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However, not everyone can go back at the same time.

Employers should split employees into groups, so that there won’t be unnecessary crowding at the office.

Basically Team A and Team B work arrangements, but you’re allowed to go back to the office half the time in a week.

MOH also recommended that flexible workplace hours are made.

For example, only going to the office for meetings, or working half the day in the office before going back home to continue working.

Shift arrangement needed

MOH warned that employers should still retain shift and team arrangements.

Those on different teams or shifts should also not interact at the workplace.

They also said that there should be staggering of reporting times. Half of all employees should start work at or after 10am.

No parties allowed in offices

Although workplace events will be allowed again, these must be business-related, must follow venue capacities and be limited to up to 50 people

The following is allowed:

  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Annual general meetings
  • Extraordinary general meetings

What isn’t allowed:

  • Celebrations
  • Parties
  • Team bonding activities

Employees should be 1m apart from each other.

More flexibility for employees

Although the new regulations will give employees more flexibility, it’s possible that some won’t take the offer.

Being able to work in a single spot is likely better for productivity, as opposed to moving around — to the office, then working from home.

However, those who face difficulties working from home will now have the option of going back to the office if they need to.

As for work events, there is a potential health risk but with more measures implemented, authorities can trace any outbreak resulting from this quickly.

Hopefully, we can host events at external venues soon, as these venues are not doing well at the moment.

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Featured image adapted from The Smart Local.