The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people around the world into their homes and gave them no other choice but to work from home (WFH). But is this going to be a “new normal” or just a passing phase? Here are some writings on the wall statistics.
- A massive shift to work from home. 91% of HR leaders in Asia-Pacific have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the outbreak (Source: Gartner)
- COVID-19 was the big reason for WFH. 31% of people said that Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the trigger to begin allowing remote work at their company (Source: OwlLabs)
- Videoconferencing is the new normal. Total video calls in Microsoft Teams grew by over 1,000% in March (Source: Microsoft). Zoom reached 200 million daily participants (paid and free) up from just 10 million in December 2019 (Source: Zoom)
- Remote work is here to stay. 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work post-COVID (Source: Gartner)
Click on the image to download print resolution. This infographic was also created while I am working from home.
The Singapore Experiment of Work from Home
In Singapore, the situation is similar. Working from home must be adopted as the default mode of working. Employees who have been working from home during the circuit breaker period must continue to do so. They can only go to the office when there is no alternative and when it is demonstrably necessary to do so — for example, to access systems or equipment that cannot be accessed from home or to fulfil legal requirements.
For employees who are still unable to work from home, employers should review work processes, provide the necessary IT equipment to employees and adopt solutions that enable remote working and online collaboration.
The Singapore Government supports WFH
Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has a variety of digital solutions and resources that help businesses implement some of the Safe Management Measures.
Eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that wish to adopt digital solutions pre-approved by IMDA can apply for the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). PSG has been enhanced to provide up to 80 per cent support from Apr 1, 2020, to Dec 31, 2020, with more categories of supported solutions like remote working and visitor management. More information is available here.