HRM Asia Special: How are companies returning to the workplace?

HRM Asia Special: How are companies returning to the workplace?
Business center and offices in Singapore

We spoke exclusively to companies in the region to find out how they are ensuring a safe return to the workplace for their employees.

How was the work from home period been for the company and employees? 

WFH has provided us with a good learning and development experience. From the initial stage of disorientation to finding order and regularity, we relooked at our work processes to adapt to new ways of working. It helps that digital acceleration has always been a key driver of our business, which made it easier and faster for us to equip our people with the tools to cross collaborate effectively. What is critical is also our people’s mindset and ability to embrace and adapt to change. Their resilience and positive attitude allowed us to continue to make tremendous progress without too steep a drop in productivity.

How is your company transitioning back to the workplace and what measures will be taken to ensure the safety of employees?

Similar to the government’s phased approach, we are adopting a cautious de-escalation approach in re-opening our office. As the brewery operations has been ongoing during Circuit Breaker, we are already at a good level of preparedness with strict safe management measures. Now we are focusing on preparing our WFH workforce to safely transition back to the office in the new normal.

We have to mentally prepare them that there are strict safe management measures that they need to observe when they are back. We established a People & Safety Taskforce and appointed Safe Management Officers to implement robust safe management measures to ensure a safe working environment. Our building features will also have to change and we are exploring contactless fittings, installation of acrylic table shields as well as self-disinfecting coatings on common touchpoints.

How are you ensuring the wellbeing of employees during the transition?

We stepped up our communications to engage our people and keep them informed on the latest situation. Department Heads also conduct frequent check-ins with their teams to allay any anxiety regarding job security and provide consistent reassurance that their health and safety is our top priority. As a member of The HEINEKEN Company, our Global People & Health Taskforce has set up an emotional support hotline that is free and available for all staff.

Patricia Lee, Corporate Affairs Director, Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore said, “There will be a paradigm shift on how we work, live and play post pandemic. We are already seeing gradual shifts. What’s most commendable is that our people have shown their passion to succeed and tenacity to thrive in adversity and adapt to the new norm. We have grown stronger as one team, with an amazing display of unity, camaraderie, collaboration and agility.”