One Singapore hotel is saying no to after-hours communication, yes to hybrid workplace

Singapore-based Royal Plaza on Scotts has introduced policies to enhance its employees’ work-life balance, including no after-hours communication, no meeting Fridays and hybrid workplace people practices.

The new practices indicate that employees should avoid communication about work after hours, on rest days and public holidays. These include emails, calls and text communication. All employees will pledge to support work-life harmony and sign their name to show their commitment for these new and progressive people practices.

No after-hours communication and hybrid workplace arrangements introduced at Royal Plaza on Scotts

With that new approach, employees are advised to respond with emojis to indicate that they are off work. A smiley face with sunglasses emoji means that one is off for the day. The reply can be made when the employee is back at work.

In the case of emergencies and unexpected situations that require immediate attention and resolution, employees can use three shocked expression faces to indicate urgency of the matter and continue to explain the situation further.

“The management understands that this might take some time for the employees to get used to as we are all so highly-connected via technology, especially since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Patrick Fiat, general manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts.

He added: “It is important that employees get quality time with their loved ones to stay productive and energised.”

In addition, No Meeting Fridays are also rolled out to help employees have one full day of uninterrupted time to fully concentrate on the tasks that they have on hand, to prepare themselves for the week ahead and to unwind for the weekend.

In embracing a hybrid workplace, Royal Plaza on Scotts has also introduced new worker-oriented policies.

Administrative employees can choose to work in office or from home and manage their work where they can be most effective. By working with their respective team leaders, employees can arrange for a work-from-home day once a week.

For frontline employees, flexible work arrangements exist in many forms. Operation team members have a choice of five- or six-day work week, 22- or 44-hour work week, or fixed shift, based on their individual needs.

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