How MNCs in Singapore can raise productivity and promote “happy” workers

The changing workplace expectations of MNC talents in 2019

In recent years, there has been a shift to a new era of working where young workers are bringing strong expectations into the MNC workplace, demanding flexibility, a workplace culture, interactive work and creative collaboration.

Given that a “happy office life” is pivotal for raising productivity and boosting output, local MNCs are looking to optimise workplace factors that contribute most to happiness, team morale, positive social interaction and acknowledgement.

Creating an environment where employees can be empowered to be their true and best selves, that values their unique talents and perspectives, should be high on priority for MNCs wanting to retain millennial talents, as inclusion is often more elusive than one might expect in the MNC workforce. Hence, there needs to be an increased emphasis by corporate companies to bring people and teams together as a way of fostering that inclusivity and experiment with new ways of working.

In a 2016 workplace survey by Genler, over 2000 Asian office workers focused in six major metropolitan areas were randomly sampled to understand the Asian workplace from the perspective of the worker. Research found that respondents in balanced workplaces are more satisfied with their jobs, see their companies as more creative and innovative, have better relationships with their co-workers and have greater work-life balance. Flexibility in day to day job scope and a lack of hierarchy in how workspaces are assigned, also prove important factors to Asian office workers today.

How MNCs in Singapore can improve workplace environment to increase productivity and wellness

About half of all the MNCs in Singapore, ranked workspace planning as their main priority for the coming years. They are also increasingly aware of technological disruption. Staff wellness and employee retention have now become a paramount consideration for employers, and companies are implementing re-structuring strategies to ensure the workplace environment they offer remains attractive for skilled workers.

Some Singapore-based MNCs are already placing increased focus on space-optimisation and have started to move from fixed desks to "activity-based working" (ABW), and "hot desking", where employees don’t have a fixed desk so they sit with different people and teams across the business. Some businesses have also started to move certain departments into flexible workspaces to boost collaboration and encourage a more creative working environment. Companies who have already begun to implement such strategies not only optimise space but seen improvements in effective teamwork that generate higher productivity and profits.

Realising the substantial benefits of having an office that encourages productivity, motivation and mindfulness, local MNCs should be planning to increase their use of flexible co-working and collaborative space over the next few years. This will present opportunities for local corporations to reap the benefits of an optimized workspace. Many MNCs are currently looking to establish a more innovative environment that feels less restrictive and regimented in order to allow ideas to flow and employees to flourish in brilliance and creativity.

Also, to keep up with the fast-pace of digital transformation, organisations need to keep up with new approaches of how people work and collaborate. Underlying this shift in work culture is technology. The right collaboration technology  needs to be in place to enable teams to collaborate, and employees to have the same access to resources as if they were in the office.

The new generation of millennial talents is keen to be able to progress at work and to forge their own path. This will require good management and commitment, a willingness to challenge conventional office practices, and structural but flexible frameworks that empower employees to grow individually, as a team and an organisation. With these successful changes, MNC companies will realise the huge untapped productivity and efficiency potential.

Find out why more and more major MNCs are moving their teams into flexible workspaces for a better work environment and how the Government is helping lay the groundwork to meet current and future demand.

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