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Adapting to the challenging conditions: Flexible working and more

​The recent COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to decreased mobility worldwide due to travel bans, but also a general downturn in global and local economies alike.

Within the Luxury sector in Singapore, most companies are experiencing 20-70% decrease in sales, while those with a well-integrated omnichannel can be seen to be better cushioned against this drop. In terms of operations, both frontline and office functions have taken escalated and quick measures in response to the COVID-19 situation. Operating hours of boutiques remain shortened to single shifts with staff being separated into different teams and asked to put on masks while on duty. Office teams are in a similar A/B teams working arrangement alternating either by weeks or by days. Recently, most companies have implemented 100% WFH all times, in line with the stronger and enforceable message from the MOM. On the business side of things, the current situation has driven brands to look harder at harnessing stronger relationships through client engagement, as it is no longer about bringing clients to the boutiques, but how to bring the brand to the clients.

Working from home (WFH) arrangements – Productivity and Relationships

A common theme I noticed when discussing WFH policies with my network is the tendency for them to wander off, either physically or mentally – that sudden urge to organise the house, the unintentional snoozes that turn into naps, or the thoughts of making yourself a hearty meal that lead to trips to the supermarket. Of course, some people end up doing a lot more and working much longer hours than they would’ve in the office, but more often than not, working from home promises way too many distractions that threaten to lower our productivity.

Therefore, the ability to stay focused and having proper time management are the two keys to success for those of us who are working from home. Check out this blog I found for some extra tips on how you can boost productivity in the comfort of your own home.

Underneath the numbers and tangibles, it is crucial for team members to stay connected amidst this interim WFH arrangement. NCBC highlighted this concern and shared ways on how to maintain workplace relationship online while being offsite.

Recruitment – Pace and Care

In the face of the current challenging market conditions, some hiring needs have been understandably put on hold. But as a recruitment specialist, my advice would be to keep your hiring process going, even if it’s at a much slower pace.

There are several benefits to this. First and foremost, it’s the easiest way to keep good talent warm and active. Secondly, it will help establish a stronger employer brand and show potential employees how you manage during times of uncertainty. And lastly, it will save you a lot of hassle when hiring resumes and everyone starts looking for talent again as you already have strong profiles in the pipeline.

If you have any current or upcoming recruitment needs or are curious to learn more market insights, I’d love to meet you over coffee or for lunch, don’t hesitate to contact me at

Posted over 3 years ago
About the author:
Foo Kin Liew

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