More funds available to help companies offer flexi-work

06 March 2019
The Straits Times, Home, Page B7

NAFA marketing and sponsorship manager Jessica Ong has been on a job-sharing arrangement for the last two years so she can spend more time with her daughter, who is now six

More companies will be able to tap government funding to offer staff flexible work arrangements like part-time work or working from home. Flexi-work arrangements can include staggered working hours, telecommuting and sharing a job load among workers.

Every Monday, instead of heading to her office at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Ms Jessica Ong spends an extra day with her six-year-old daughter. She takes her to school and reads to her during the day, and is also able to fetch her 10-year-old son from school. Ms Ong, 41, a marketing and sponsorship manager, shares her job load with another colleague.

She had been working full-time with a telecommuting arrangement since 2012, when her daughter was born with a medical condition and needed more attention. In 2017, she approached her supervisors to see if she could reduce her workload and was pleasantly surprised to find out about the job-sharing option. This allowed her to work three days a week. "It's been a real blessing. I get to spend more time with my daughter and relieve my elderly parents who look after her while I'm at work," said Ms Ong.

This year, as her daughter is older now, she has started working four days a week. Her pay and benefits are pro-rated accordingly. Ms Ong said her colleagues accommodate her schedule when planning meetings, while her boss lets her take her day off on a different day if she has to go in to the office on Monday.

Ms Sim Choo Lee, NAFA's head of human resources, said such flexibility helps the organisation retain staff who may otherwise need to choose between family commitments and work.

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.