Remote work: Technology gaps revealed amid COVID-19

Three in five Singapore firms admitted they were not adequately equipped for the sudden change

Remote work: Technology gaps revealed amid COVID-19

In a recent pulse survey, 46% of employers and HR leaders in Singapore said that they will increase investments to improve their technology capabilities after COVID-19.

The crisis proved that about 60% of organisations were not fully equipped with the necessary infrastructure for remote working arrangements.

Despite there seeming to be no end in sight, the pandemic is enabling leaders to better understand their organisations and plan for a post-crisis world.

Randstad Singapore’s survey, conducted in March this year, found that only 40% of employers were fully equipped to cope with the outbreak.

Some steps employers plan to take to improve their tech infrastructure include:

  • 15% will issue laptops to their employees to enable remote working
  • 19% will review and upgrade their digital systems to ensure effective communication, collaboration and productivity
  • 12% will upgrade their network security system to protect their company’s files and data

READ MORE: Remote work: Will it really kill productivity?

Additionally, after monitoring the productivity levels of their employees following work-from-home measures, 14% of leaders said that they expect to offer remote working as an employee benefit in the future.

One CHRO had earlier told HRD she was hopeful this would be one of the positive outcomes of a dire situation.

Wendy Foong, CHRO at Sembcorp said that prior to the outbreak, their team was working to convince leadership to take on a bolder flexible working arrangement. The necessity for the arrangement as part of COVID-19’s business continuity plans may just be the crucial trial or litmus test for a broader, longer-term policy.

“Naturally, leaders, even in high-tech companies, may be afraid of [flexi-work],” she said. “But my question was how do you do a business continuity plan [without flexi-work] because that’s an underlying need.

“The COVID-19 situation put it into practice and forced our leaders to work remotely. For me this is helpful because after this episode is over, I can go back to the leaders and ask them: ‘how did it work out?’; ‘did your fear of flexi-work manifest or were they baseless fears?’

“This could potentially help us further along our flexi-work arrangement policy.”

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