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How to Prepare Singaporean Employees for a Smooth Return to the Office

by BGC HR

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​Whether you like it or not, our remote working days are currently numbered. Soon, employees will have to make their way back to the office, and life begins again. However, like most plans, in-depth planning is required. 

Thankfully, as an HR outsourcing agency in Singapore, we understand the amount of stress and time that goes into planning a smooth transition back to the office. Treat this article like a checklist of things that HR teams and executives will have to make. Right before employees can prepare for a smooth return to the office. 

Ready? Let’s check out the tips and tricks HR executives in Singapore can take note of to prepare employees for a smooth return to the office! 

1. Ensure necessities are in order 

Before you begin the mass migration back to the office. It’s important to double or even triple-check that you have prepared the necessities needed for the office to function smoothly during the new normal. Have no clue what some of the necessities needed are? 

Examples of necessities HR executives and teams in Singapore will have to prepare can include: 

  • Health contingency plans: All companies will be required to develop a robust and full-proof healthcare contingency plan. We’ve outlined an example of a healthcare contingency plan in this BGC Group article titled “Covid 19: What to Do if Someone at Work is a Suspect Case”. 

  • Provide first aid kits: Basic supplies such as the thermometer, reusable masks, and hand sanitizers should be provided. This helps your employees track their temperature as well as stay protected in the office. Don’t forget to place hand sanitizers in areas where employees tend to congregate (e.g. near toilets, lifts, entryways).

  • Provide contactless equipment whenever possible: Instead of sharing a thermometer with the rest of the staff in the office. Try to provide contactless thermometers. The same principle should apply to a number of office equipment as well.

    Pro-Tip: Try to prohibit employees from using shared appliances to prevent the spread of diseases. This can include microwaves, fridges, and water coolers. Alternatively, encourage employees to wipe and sanitize shared appliances after every use! This can be done simply by providing your employees with sanitizing wipes.

2. Incorporate digital tools

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In the post-pandemic office, both employers and employees will have to handle the new normal. For instance, implementing a rotating system where half the workplace works from home and the other half works remotely. 

Digital tools are an important investment for companies looking to function normally. Most companies realised the importance of digital tools during the early pandemic days. You might’ve seen some new tools, systems, and software that the company has invested in. However, this mad rush has led some companies to purchase digital tools and software. Without thinking of its long term implications. 

If your organization is looking to incorporate proper digital tools. Below is a list of questions companies and HR executives should consider before investing in a new digital software: 

  • Productivity and collaborative reasons: With the team working separately, collaborative software can be useful. However, before investing in a team collaboration software. It’s best to figure out if your team thrives through holacracy (A.K.A. teamwork).

    Learn more about great collaborative office software in this article by Workable here.

  • Consider investing in cybersecurity tools: Working from home and working from the office can be a difficult transition for some. Cybersecurity is an afterthought to most employees working remotely from home, with their personal computers. Imagine this, your employees have been downloading multiple games, videos, as well as surfing various personal websites.

    Keep in mind that when your employees return to the office. Some of your employees’ personal computers might be insecure. Investing in the proper cybersecurity tools could be the right move for your organization.

    Learn more about talking to c-suite employers about the importance of cybersecurity with the help of this BGC Group article.

    Digital tools can be an expensive investment for your company. As an HR process outsourcing agency, we understand the pain of investing in pricey software. Click here for a list of free HR and employee tools in Singapore

3. Decide which teams to bring in first 


According to Zdnet, both the HR and leadership team will have to decide which teams they’d want to bring back to the office first. Introducing the teams slowly will help reduce risks to your office. 

A good example of re-introducing the right teams bit by bit is by bringing your employees back in the reverse order of how they were sent home to work remotely. Alternatively, the company can set a rotating schedule tailored specifically to the company. 

However, there could be some problems HR teams will have to mitigate. One way to mitigate potential hurdles is to inform your employees early. Keep in mind that some of your employees are parents. Parents might require slightly more planning. To overcome any potential hurdles, try to inform your employees early of the date when they’re expected to return. 

Pro-Tip: Implementing a night shift is also an option that some companies can explore. That way, employees can return to the office. For those unaware, the remote work lifestyle can pose a number of problems for some of your employees. Issues such as loneliness and the lack of communication can lead to rather unproductive employees.

Some of the biggest remote work challenges that your employees might encounter can be found listed in this article. Social distancing, remote work, and loneliness can also pose a problem for your introverted employees too. 

4. Be more flexible with timings 

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According to Human Resources Online, the Singaporean authorities have also come up with a list of suggestions to enable more workers to return back to the office. One of the more outstanding suggestions is to have employers be flexible with their employee’s work timings. As such, instead of having employees report at work at the usual hours, it’s much better to have employees avoid peak hour travel. Instead, try having employees report at 9.30am or later in the day, so that your workers can avoid peak travel time. 

Remember that it’s always best to stay safe than sorry. Take the measures needed to protect your workplace. Everyone wants to avoid forming a dreaded cluster at the workplace.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them with us in the comments section below! 


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