Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) and why your SME should incorporate them

Do work from home and flexible hours really work? Let’s start with what exactly they are. They fall under a bigger umbrella called Flexible Work Arrangements(FWA) which are an alternate form of work schedule different from the usual business hours. Types of flexible working arrangements include “flexible time” and “flexible location”.

So, why FWA? And why now?

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced almost the entire workforce to stay at home and adopt some form of FWA. In fact, with Covid seeming to have no end in sight, FWA is no longer an option but a necessity. However, fret not. If done correctly, such a flexible schedule could “pandemic-proof” your SME not just for Covid but future epidemics.

Apart from Covid-19, here are 6 reasons why you should consider FWA:

Same or higher Productivity 

You might think working outside an office setting will distract your employees and decrease ROI. Well, FWA provides a balanced work-life that makes your employees happier. And we all know that happy employees increase employee productivity and engagement(morale). Company retention and recruitment are improved and company loyalty is strengthened!

Widen your talent search 

If one could work from home, one could work from anywhere around the world. Instead of limiting your talent pool to just Singapore, you can now hire better, more suited talents from all over the world! Not only would you have more diversification among your employees, but your company would also be able to benefit from the knowledge outside of Singapore.

Reduced Costs 

You create a win-win situation with your employees saving transport costs while you reduce or even wipe out the need for office spaces!

Better Customer Service 

Looking to expand your business beyond? Want to provide 24/7 service for customers? Flexi Work arrangements can make this possible! By providing longer hours of service, flexi-work, therefore, meets diverse customer needs and has a positive impact on customer service and retention.

Adjusting to economic situations 

A quick look at companies that are operating and surviving is a testimony to how FWA-ready enables them to adjust and pivot well even in a pandemic situation. Workplace flexibility decreases the negative changes in the global economy and even allows the business to thrive regardless of the economic situations. 

Now, how to be FWA-Ready?

Flexible working arrangements can be separated into Flexible time and Flexible location. Here are 8 types of FWA you can consider.

Flexible Location

Flexible Time

So many choices, how to know which FWA is the right fit for your business?

Step 1: Assess feasibility

Assess each option’s impact on continued operations and job performance.

Consider the following questions: To what extent are employees needed to deliver products or services? To what extent do employees need to coordinate work across time zones? To what extent do employees need to communicate with each other in real-time? When do employees need to interact with each other or clients in-person?

Assess the resources required for the option.

Consider the following questions: Do employees have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to adopt this option? How much additional headcount is required? How much will work processes need to change? What new technologies will be required?

Step 2: Implement

Pilot Test:

Implement a pilot first, and then roll out the rest of the program after evaluating the pilot’s success and addressing any issues.Roll out one or two flexible work options with one employee segment or one option with the entire organization.

Full-scale rollout:

Roll out the remainder of the program (e.g. to other employee segments or additional flexible work options) once there is significant uptake of the pilot by the target employee group and issues have been addressed.This can be done by launching the program through a town hall meeting or organisational announcement to build excitement and buy-in. 


Evaluate the program and make improvements by consistently monitoring the process and gathering feedback. 

Adopting and communicating the FWA

If you need professional help in adopting and communicating the FWA to your organisation’s needs, Align Group can be your trusted HR Business and Consultancy partner to roll this out for you. Adopting a FWA may be easier than you think. With the pandemic ending nowhere in sight, it is time to implement some of these options into your company!! Good luck!

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