9 Apr 2021

The complexity of managing the pandemic has resulted in a rethinking of the strategic imperatives for the future of work, as well as the role that workplace design should play to support these concepts, according to a study on the future of workplaces for financial institutions. 

The study, which looks at the re-design of workplaces as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside digital transformation of work processes, said that organizations can remain sustainable in the long-term with a hybrid model of work.

The components for a pandemic-resilient and responsive workspace ecosystem revolve around flexibility, efficiency, divisibility and legibility, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said in a study Cistri collaborated on – Study on Future Workplaces, which was published as part of the ongoing collaboration between ABS’ Return to Onsite Operations Taskforce (ROOT) and MAS.

The study said that empowering employees to choose where and when to do their work will be essential to support employees’ physical and mental well-being and ensure that the best talent is retained or supported, noting that FIs should embrace the pandemic by taking the best aspects of telecommuting to achieve greater work-life balance in the future.

Equipping employees with the right technology and protocols is key to unlocking the potential of agile working, the report said.

Future FIs’ workplace will embrace a dynamic approach, ranging from flexibility to work-life balance. The recent experience has unlocked the potential of hybrid working, emphasising both mental and physical well-being, the report said.

Banks in Singapore have adapted their operations quickly over the past year to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the longer term impact of the pandemic on social behaviours and workplace norms is not yet fully known and understood, Samuel Tsien, chairman, ABS and Group CEO of OCBC Bank, said in a statement on the report.

The report said it foresees FIs embracing remote working as part of their culture and tapping into different areas outside the CBD for workplace options near home. The real estate strategy of an FI will also explore more of the shared options available outside the CBD while maintaining their headquarters’ presence for both branding and community engagement.

Finally, digital banking and fintech will also play a significant role in shaping the future as banks move from the traditional transaction-based approach towards more of an experience-based model to attract and retain both customers and potential employees.

The above article originally appeared in finews.asia

The Study on Future Workplaces is a multi-disciplinary study by:

  • ABS ROOT Workstream 4 (comprising members Bank of China Limited, Singapore Branch; Barclays Bank PLC, Singapore Branch; Citibank Singapore Limited; DBS Bank Limited; HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited; Maybank Singapore Limited; Network for Electronic Transfers (Singapore) Pte Ltd; Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited; Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited and United Overseas Bank Limited);
  • the Cushman & Wakefield-led consulting consortium (comprising Cushman & Wakefield; Cistri; Hassell; Arup and The Working Capitol); and

the following expert panellists: Mr. Ang Kian Seng (Group Director of Environmental Sustainability Group, Building and Construction Authority); Er. Go Eng Huat (Senior Consultant, Workplace Safety and Health Council); Prof. Lam Khee Poh (Dean of School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore); Adj. Asst Prof. Kalisvar Marimuthu (Senior Consultant, National Centre for Infectious Diseases); Prof. Tan Chorh Chuan, Chief Health Scientist and Executive Director of Office for Healthcare Transformation, Ministry of Health).