Flexi-Work Arrangements:  For Frontline Workers

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Flexi-Work Arrangements: For Frontline Workers


3 min read

Source: Channel News Asia
Article Date: 30 Apr 2024

The guidelines, effective from December 1st, provide a structured approach for employers and employees in Singapore to manage formal flexi-work requests, primarily catering to white-collar job roles.

However, implementing flexi-work arrangements poses unique challenges for frontline workers. Frontline workers span various industries, including food services, logistics, construction, retail, manufacturing, security, healthcare, and education. Their significance has been amplified since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Often referred to as deskless workers, their tasks are predominantly location and time-specific, requiring onsite presence and adherence to day or night shifts.

Brief overview of flexi-work arrangements

According to the tripartite guidelines, there are three categories of flexible work arrangements: Flexi-place, flexi-time and flexi-load.

Flexi-place, allowing employees to work remotely, is largely impractical for deskless workers. For instance, your bubble tea server can't prepare your drink from home and deliver it instantly to you (at least not yet with today's technology).

On the other hand, flexi-time and flexi-load arrangements, offering flexible work hours and workloads respectively, seem feasible for deskless workers. Frontline staff can formally request to be scheduled for shifts that align with their availability or to reduce their workload based on personal circumstances.

Importance of flexi-work for frontline workers

Frontline workers, such as healthcare providers, retail staff, and public service employees, often face unpredictable and long hours, leading to high stress levels and burnout.

Flexi-work arrangements can offer these workers more control over their schedules, allowing them to better manage personal responsibilities and reduce commuting times.

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Benefits of Flexi-Work Arrangements for Frontline Workers

Young Asian Female Doctor wear glasses discussing with senior man patient about a chest radiograph in digital tablet computer in medical office. X-ray.

Image courtesy: Unsplash

Increased work-life balance

Frontline workers face demanding shift schedules, often including nights, weekends, and holidays, making it hard to balance work and personal life. Flexi-work options empower employees to customize their schedules to align better with personal commitments.

  • Personal Time: Flexi-work enables employees to allocate time for family, errands, or education, enhancing personal pursuits.

  • Reduced Commute: Telecommuting options under FWAs significantly decrease commute time and expenses, improving overall personal time quality.

Enhanced job satisfaction

Flexi-work arrangements plays a significant role in enhancing job satisfaction among frontline workers for several reasons:

  • Autonomy: Flexi-work arrangements grant employees more control over their schedules, fostering a sense of autonomy at work. This empowerment boosts job satisfaction as employees feel their needs are valued.

  • Recognition and Loyalty: Offering flexible working options acknowledges and addresses frontline workers' challenges, fostering loyalty and reducing turnover rates.

  • Adaptability and Skills: Workplace flexibility enables employees to explore different roles or pursue training during less busy hours, enhancing their skills and career prospects, thereby increasing job satisfaction.


Industries like food services and accommodation experience significant workforce turnover, with service and sales staff resignation rates approximately 40% higher than the economy-wide average in 2023. Similarly, professions like nursing and education often witness elevated levels of work-related stress and burnout.

Implementing flexi-time and flexi-load options could alleviate frontline workers' mental strain and enhance the attractiveness of these sectors to job seekers, mitigating the labor shortage.

With the growing demand for flexible work among potential hires, employers who embrace this approach will gain a competitive edge in talent acquisition. Moreover, offering flexible work opens doors to previously untapped talent pools, including stay-at-home parents, caregivers, and students seeking part-time employment opportunities.

James Chia is Co-Founder & CEO of ArcLab, a workforce mobile training platform.

Source: CNA

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