Protecting employees top priority for firms here: Poll
The new normal for work will include a focus on human capital, with companies already taking measures to give better support to employees during this period, according to a survey out yesterday by global professional services firm Aon.
Protecting people came out tops in the list of future priorities for almost all firms surveyed here, while 21 per cent of respondents said they are already providing a temporary increase in sick leave entitlements to help staff during this crisis.
The survey was conducted as part of a global study on workplace trends in a post-coronavirus world.
A total of 1,970 companies around the world responded to the survey done from April 28 to May 1, with 375 respondents from Singapore.
"Business leaders in Singapore are grappling with challenges that affect every aspect of their organisation," said Mr Alexander Krasavin, regional commercial head for Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa at Aon.
"They must make well-considered decisions on returning to the workplace, that will not only protect their balance sheets but also their people."
He added: "The human capital decisions businesses make now will shape the future of work and indeed their organisations."
Protecting people in terms of ensuring their health, safety and welfare as they return to work amid the virus outbreak emerged as the top priority for 89 per cent of the companies surveyed.
Supporting business continuity was also vital to 83 per cent of them.
Companies are already looking at ways to put people first, by putting in place enhanced measures to support employees.
Some 76 per cent of the respondents said they are providing flexibility in working schedules to employees with children, while 54 per cent are allowing staff to use sick leave for coronavirus-related matters, in addition to what is required by the Government.
About a quarter of companies are providing as-needed payments or equipment purchases to help employees work from home.
Mr Krasavin said: "Some of (the work-from-home practices) were painful when we started, but then companies see that in some ways, work from home and flexible arrangements actually work better."
He added: "Remote work will stick with us for some time."