Launch of Hybrid Work Arrangement for all Mitsui Chemicals Group of companies in Singapore
Added flexibility to work arrangements to further enhance work-life balance
Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd.
Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific (MCAP) – The Flexible Work Arrangement Policy announced in June 2022 for all six Singapore entities took effect from 1 July 2022. The policy consolidates various work flexibilities that eligible employees can apply to their work arrangement in Singapore. Included in the Flexible Work Arrangement Policy is the introduction of Hybrid Work Arrangement (HWA), whereby eligible employees can enter a hybrid work model.
Under the HWA, eligible employees can arrange through their Division General Manager to work at the designated workplace at least three days in a standard work week. This added flexibility allows such employees to be able to telecommute from their residence in Singapore on some days.
“Two years and a half since the pandemic began, companies now have the breathing room to create more thoughtful hybrid work arrangements that believed to be a better and sustainable design for both employer and employees moving forward. Hybrid work model pros and cons are not necessarily black and white though. However, we shall begin to transform the legacy work styles by introducing a small step – HWA,” said Ms Wendy Soh, General Manager for Regional HR Division in MCAP. “We warmly welcome all our employees back to the workplace and looking forward to see everyone in person, as well to greet with all the new joiners,” she added.
In order to maintain operational needs and effectiveness, should there be a need for a physical work, employees who are scheduled to telecommute would still need to be present at the workplace. Employees under HWA must be contactable during working hours through an internal messaging platform.
Besides HWA, the existing staggered work hour arrangement or Flexi-Time Arrangement (FTA), is also mentioned in the policy.
Setting up guidelines and expectations
Although telecommute or work-from-home have been “well practiced” throughout COVID-19 pandemic, a set of guidelines is included in the Flexible Work Arrangement Policy to highlight desirable work expectations when employees are carrying out their work duties outside of the designated workplace. The guidelines aim to ensure employees continue to uphold professionalism even if they work offsite.
A checklist is also introduced within the policy for employees to perform risk assessment while working offsite. Beside potential home environment hazards, the checklist also includes individual’s physical and mental well-being advisory.
Telecommuting, a tested work model during COVID-19
The concept of telecommute or work-from-home is not new. Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, employees who are able to work-from-home to some extent were arranged to do so. While some job roles can assimilate better into remote work, others faced challenges to a certain degree at some point. A typical challenge while working from home was the access to equipment and documents necessary for the work assigned.
Several changes were implemented to transform paper or manual processes to digital. The changes had improved the work efficiency as a whole across most administrative roles.
Transitioning towards the hybrid work model, managers and employees have to place more emphasis in the “human connection”. Regular communication and engagement in the forms of meetings and after-work gatherings, whether physically or virtually, must be put in place to avoid losing sight of the human bond that we are used to pre-pandemic.
About Mitsui Chemicals Group in Singapore
Singapore is the home to six local affiliates for Mitsui Chemicals Group. Besides Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd. (MCAP) is the Asia Pacific Regional Headquarter of Mitsui Chemicals Inc., the other five entities include Mitsui Phenols Singapore Pte. Ltd. (MPS), Mitsui Elastomers Singapore Pte Ltd (MELS), Prime Evolue Singapore Pte. Ltd. (EVLS), SDC Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (SDC AP), and Mitsui Chemicals Singapore R&D Centre Pte Ltd (MS-R&D).
Being the Asia Pacific growth functional hub, MCAP strives to drive business growth, provide robust functional services to regional affiliates or businesses, and deliver values to customers leveraging full power of all affiliates in Mitsui Chemicals Group.