Workforce planning is becoming more complex with return-to-workplace.
"The ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for an agile and resilient workforce," said Peter Bentley, global chief commercial officer & future of work leader for human capital solutions at Aon.
Not everyone needs to return
In Singapore, 75% of surveyed companies have decided on their return-to-office timelines, but only 25% of the companies have a return date.
Not everyone needs to return to the office. Forty-nine percent of surveyed companies expect fewer than 75% of office workers to return onsite once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Flexible or hybrid working will not only remain but will also rise. The survey noted that 33% of companies expect returning workers to spend only two to three days per week in the office. Another 17% of companies allow their employees to choose how much time they want to spend in the office.
As workers head back onsite, companies are taking a proactive and supportive approach to vaccine adoption. However, most are not issuing mandates.
Only 5% currently plan to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for employees where allowed by law. Another 9% are actively considering this approach.
Instead, 34% of companies see value in offering incentives to employees who receive COVID-19 vaccines, often in the form of paid time off to receive and recover from injections. Forty-six percent of companies are also actively educating employees on the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Future-of-work becomes a business imperative
Focused on the future, almost three in four surveyed companies (70%) in Singapore have one or more teams or taskforces defining, managing, and implementing the future of work.
In addition, 80% of companies say they now have a clear and consistent definition of what the future of work means for their business or expect to have a definition in the next six months.
The three most prevalent issues shaping future-of-work definitions in Singapore are addressing talent availability concerns, rethinking company cultures, and digitalization, cited by 93%, 86%, and 80% of companies, respectively.
"The focus on flexible working, while not new, has resulted in an unpacking of additional 'future of work' initiatives as highlighted by our survey findings. We see this trend continuing and driving positive momentum as companies build a more flexible, healthy workforce and invest in developing existing employee potential to drive innovation and performance," Bentley added.
DEI and pay differentials
Looking more closely at inclusion and diversity efforts, 44% of surveyed companies in Singapore felt that the HR teams are most responsible for leading programs in this area. Additionally, 86% of companies have created or are planning to create inclusion and diversity metrics or goals to track progress, with diversity encompassing diversity of thought and employee demographics.
With remote work on the rise, 69% of surveyed companies in Singapore have adjusted, or are considering adjusting, geographic pay differentials due to the pandemic. Among companies actively adjusting pay based on shifting employee locations, 87% are re-examining pay rates using fresh market data, and 39% are adding more granularity to the geographic zones they consider.
However, making such adjustments is challenging. Top concerns include the difficulty of adopting and maintaining market-aligned pay rates across numerous locations (72%) and employment-related concerns and work policies (67%). In both cases, surveyed companies cited these issues as moderately, very, or extremely challenging.
Image credit: iStockphoto/Arsen Volkov