Toa Payoh Public Library (Source : Regus Express).

The Ministry of Communication and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim, announced that a fourth Smart Work Centre (or SWCs), equipped with video-conferencing facilities, meeting rooms, photocopiers, and Wi-Fi will be opened at the revamped library at Tampines next year as part of  the Tripartite Committee for Work-Life Strategy (or TriCom) to better balance the work-life commitments.

Currently, the previous SWCs are located at Toa Payoh, Jurong East and Geylang East, which were built in 2014. Workers who wish to use the facilities at the existing centres need to register with workplace solutions provider Regus, which runs the the centres, to gain access.

Up to 47 people can be accommodated on each centre and space is subject to availability. Workers need to pay $20 a day for desk space or up to $399 a month for a private cubicle as rental charges. Workers can also rent the space hourly.

The Tripartite Committee for Work-Life Strategy (or TriCom), partnering with the ASME, NTUC, SBF, SHRI, SNEF and TAFEP (read as Ta-Fep), is chaired by Minister of State for Manpower Mr Teo Ser Luck. The aim is to reach out to companies to promote work-life initiatives.

Mr Yaacob said at the New Ways of Work Conference on Thursday (20 October) at Marina bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre that social attitudes are changing, and so is the structure of our workforce. Increasingly, workers are demanding job flexibility to better balance their work-life commitments.

The structure of the workforce is also changing. Casualisation of labour has increased, as more people turn to freelancing, part-time work and short term contracts.

“With increased connectivity, businesses can be run from anywhere around the world and work can be done at any time of the day,” he said.

Mr Yaacob said that companies need to acknowledge that flexibility and productivity can go hand in hand. A survey of workers globally found that three-quarters say they are more productive when they work flexibly.

He also said that over the last year, the TriCom has launched work-life outreach campaigns to reinforce how FWAs benefit both employers and employees.

“Another key focus area is harnessing technology to support New Ways of Work. Good infocomm infrastructure allows our workers to be connected to their offices remotely. It is also essential for services like mobile video conference and cloud-based applications,” he said.

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