More firms suspend operations, allow staff to stay home due to haze

More firms suspend operations, allow staff to stay home due to haze

SINGAPORE - As the haze blanket thickens in Singapore, an increasing number of locally-based companies are beginning to take preventive measures aimed at safeguarding the health of their employees.

Since late last week, the city-state has been plagued by a haze caused by forest fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

While PSI levels remained in the unhealthy range for most of the week, air quality worsened drastically to a high of PSI 321 on Wednesday night, and then peaked at PSI 371 at 1pm on Thursday.

PSI levels above 300 are considered hazardous by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Goodstuph, a local marketing and creative agency, was one of the first few companies which announced a work-from-home-day on June 20.

On Thursday, the agency posted a note on its official Facebook page to say that the company would be extending work-from-home-day till Friday if necessary.

Pat Law, owner and founder of Goodstuph, also posted a note on her own page to urge other companies to allow employees to work from home.

The posting has since been updated with a list of more than 80 other firms which have stopped or changed operations as a result of the haze.

Companies which have allowed staff to work from home from Thursday include Singapore Tourism Board, Mindshare Social, Singapore Korean International School, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Thomson Reuters, Lenovo Singapore and more.

Operations suspended include delivery services by McDonald's Singapore, Popeye's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Pasta Mania.

Here is the full list Ms Law has posted so far:

1. Kinetic Singapore
2. Kilo
3. Ben Qwek & crew
4. Obllique
5. GOODSTUPH
6. XM Asia Pacific (source: Celeste Ang)
7. SingTel Digital Marketing team (source: Miguel Bernas)
8. Dimension Data Asia Pacific (source: Tannia Goh)
9. McDonald's Singapore Delivery (source: Ng Wai Mun)
10. Peek! (source: Chia Aik Beng)

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