Hybrid Workplaces In A Pandemic-Accelerated World

Once a common practice, the pre-pandemic routine of heading out with friends, eating out and commuting back and forth for work were quickly vetoed.

The spread of COVID-19 caused disruption to the way we work and play, calling the need for people to adjust their lifestyles to keep the virus at bay.

Companies and organisations were forced to convert their traditional ways of working to support a remote workforce – the days of physically clocking in at the office are almost a thing of the past.

In response to the pandemic, a plethora of temporary changes (mainly short-term shifts in demand) and some lasting ones were implemented.

Technology enables us to still stay connected despite the safety measures enforced globally.

Businesses quickly realised that the shift to a digital realm of operations was necessary to not only maintain operations but to grow, technological advancement.

Coupled with the forced change of mindset, these have successfully powered the nation’s workforce into what used to be a less considered work practice.

A drastic change for employers and employees alike, the concept of a hybrid workplace became the norm for work arrangements.

Thankfully, the advancement of the digital realm made it a seamless transition into a new way of work.

In Singapore, employers surveyed by our organisation say that they have progressively used technology to improve business performance, obtain business insights from big data and reduce operational risks.

The flexibility of this arrangement brought about benefits for both employers and employees, but it also meant necessary upskilling for those who are less technologically savvy.

Gearing Towards A New Era

Understanding the requirements of today’s workforce, we have created a collection of courses focused on enhancing managerial abilities in a Hybrid Workplace.

Aimed to hone Singaporeans’ leadership and staff management practices while working from home, the collective courses are offered on three levels: operational, supervisory and managerial.

The curated courses developed aim to better contribute toward the success of a hybrid organisation, with classes held on weekends to accommodate working schedules. 

We believe that it is of utmost importance to be aware of the ever-changing needs of companies and organisations, to work at being ahead of the curve and increase employment value.

As the business environment transforms, there will inevitably be shifts in the skills that are in demand.

In the creation of these Hybrid Workplace courses, we certainly want the skills attained to elevate and boost individuals’ self-care as well as companies’ productivity to support the economy as Singapore move towards the endemic phase.

Upskilling And Self-Care

Since work from home has been the norm in our lives because of the pandemic, many are not able to separate and find a balance in their lives.

This creates numerous unhealthy and unproductive problems that will significantly weigh them down.

Through all levels, the courses in ‘Develop Professional Image and Competence to Achieve Personal Career Goals’ and ‘Develop Personal Effectiveness’ is a great starter to their journey in upskilling.

The former aims to develop the skillset required to create a professional presence in the digital world through assessing personal competencies, while the latter focuses on a hybrid workplace on a more personal level.

It highlights how to establish and relate personal goals to team goals, managing time effectively, maintaining work-life balance, managing stress as well as personal finances to be an effective employee at the workplace.

Although separated by managerial levels, the core learning points in the ‘Develop Personal Effectiveness’ course remains the same.

Branching out from there, operational, supervisory and managerial level then focuses on effective communications and management of work teams.

Techniques and skills to interpret, clarify, analyse and respond to information are critical namely on the operational and supervisory level are taught, so that trainees are able to effectively negotiate, build rapport and resolve conflicts for the optimal outcome while taking diversity issues into consideration.

Supervisors learn how to be more sensitive towards the mental well-being of their teams and engage with empathy to manage workload, create a positive hybrid working environment and avoid potential burnouts.

Those on the managerial level acquire more in-depth skills on top of the above, such as managing diversity in the workplace and creating a positive work environment to maximise efficiency and synergy towards a common goal.

In a world where we are in a constant state of change, we cannot remain single-tracked when it comes to our careers.

To navigate the new norm and seek out opportunities, it is key to stay informed, then take action by upskilling for employer-coveted hybrid roles and supplementary skills.

With businesses and other organisations growing to rely more heavily on technology, these courses will allow employees to take a proactive role in directing and enhancing their own career progressions, while employers benefit from a powerful productivity boost in their workforce.

This is a guest post by See Wee Heng. He heads the Marketing Department which oversees corporate marketing and outreach for NTUC LearningHub (LHUB). Prior to this, he was a Brand Manager for Singapore Post Ltd, Regional Digital Marketer for Ascendas Pte Ltd (now Ascendas-SingBridge) and Product Marketer for MediaCorp Toggle. Founder of popular food, travel and lifestyle online magazine, Wee Heng served as a Council Member on the Media Literacy Council of the then-Media Development Authority Singapore between 2014 and 2016.

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