Public Service officers readying for hybrid work arrangements

SINGAPORE: The Public Service Division (PSD) will set fresh guidelines for hybrid work while managing the risks in people management, workplace health, and cyber- and information security, the division — responsible for all Singapore public service organisations — has advised

These guidelines include establishing clear expectations on officers’ schedules and availability; and the regular check-in that supervisors and officers should have to drive the achievement of work goals.

They should communicate their expectations clearly to subordinates with regular performance feedback. In turn, PSD will train supervisors in performance management.

“Officers are held accountable for the outcomes of their work and contributions, rather than ‘face time’ in office,” PSD said.

It also mentioned that new hires may not be working from home at the start due to their need to get acquainted with the organisation or bond with co-workers.

PSD emphasised, however, that working on a hybrid model was not an entitlement, and the needs of each individual job will continue to take precedence. “Public sector agencies should determine the specific provisions that best suit the business needs and operating context of their organisation. Officers should also adjust their work-from-home schedule to give precedence to organisational needs,” it said.

PSD said that remote working has made “more nimble collaboration” among government agencies coordinating and organising at “short notice” for Covid-19-related efforts.

“The mainstreaming of hybrid work in the Public Service would allow the Public Service to lock in the productivity gains from remote working initiated during Covid-19 while balancing the need to foster teamwork and organisational cohesion,” the committee noted.

In addition, PSD is forming a contingency workforce plan to mobilise officers for any crisis.

PAC also noted the reduction in office spaces of several agencies. SkillsFuture Singapore adopts desk-sharing with workstations for 70% of its total staff. PSD has reduced the size of its management’s rooms by 20% to 30%.

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