More have flexible work options now

More have flexible work options now

SINGAPORE - Ms Grace Wang asked to take time off from work on certain days of the week, in order to take her two children to school and spend more time with her family.

The human-resource officer's employer, aircraft-engine maker Pratt & Whitney, agreed to let her work half a day on certain days, and to start at 9am on her other workdays, which is an hour later than her colleagues.

The 39-year-old told My Paper: "I can continue working, so that when I'm ready to commit full-time again, I can continue my career."

Employers today have become more understanding towards their staff's need for work-life balance, and increasingly allow them to adopt flexible work arrangements.

This is according to a study which has shown that there is an increasing availability of options, such as flexible working hours and telecommuting, than there was six years ago.

Of the National Work-Life Harmony Study's 1,650 respondents, which comprised working adults, 23 per cent said they now have access to flexible work hours and telecommuting, which allows them to work away from the office.

The figure was 14 per cent in 2006. Such arrangements help employees "integrate their work and personal lives", said Mr Lau Tat Chuan, 52, director of the Centre for Fathering, a non-governmental group.

The study was conducted by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and follows up on the inaugural one in 2006.

It was done in partnership with the School of Family Life of Brigham Young University in the United States.

This year's study also found an increase in the proportion of respondents who make use of flexible working hours, 15 per cent as compared to 12 per cent in 2006.

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