SINGAPORE — In another initiative to push for more family-friendly workplaces, the labour movement’s Women’s Development Secretariat held its first Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) conference and exhibition today (March 14).
Representatives from multi-national companies (MNC) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) shared successes, as well as the challenges, in implementing flexible work arrangements.
Ms Cham Hui Fong, Assistant Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said about 15 to 20 per cent of unionised companies are now on board in having flexi-work arrangements.
And the target is to hit 50 per cent by the end of 2015.
The event comes after the labour movement unit held its first job fair on 8 March, aimed at recruiting and retaining women in the workplace.
One employee who has been on flexi work-arrangements for the last three years is 36-year-old Low Mei Lin.
The director at an MNC has two children, and works four days a week from home.
Ms Low, business functions director of Polycom Asia Pacific, said: “Flexible work has allowed me to change when and where I work. There’s some anxiety when you approach your supervisor and ask for an arrangement that is outside of the norm. My supervisor was very supportive, he is a father of two himself and he benefits from flexible working as well, so it’s not just for mothers.”
Ms Cham said: “If you want flexi-work to be successful, you need the buy-in from not just the CEOs, but also the stakeholders including the supervisors and the employees.”