Making a virtue out of necessity is not always a good idea. Employees benefited from working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, when economic necessity forced both them and employers to break from the traditional practice of workers turning up in the office ritually five days a week. However, it appears that the alteration of organisational behaviour obliged by Covid-19 has survived the pandemic, with remote work now being seen as something of an employee entitlement. Hybrid work – workdays distributed between home and office – would seem to be a healthy compromise, but even there, there is disagreement over how many days of each would constitute a fair balance.
These uncomfortable details are borne out by a report cited in this newspaper this week. It notes that most workers in Singapore have begun returning to their workplaces, but there remains a gap between how many remote days employees expect and bosses are willing to offer. About 79 per cent of Singapore workers are showing up on mandated days, more than the global average of 75 per cent, but discord between employers and workers over the callback in the past year continues to simmer. Coming into the office more than four days a week elicits unhappiness among many.
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