Following the admirable activism from Techworkers on Github highlighting the ‘996’ working hour practice in companies such as Alibaba and JD.Com;
…there is a fascinating discussion taking place in China Whilst Jack Ma’s comment that this work schedule is a “huge blessing” is a point for discussion in itself; the quote in The Guardian’s article on this story really stood out; “Most of today’s companies are machines that cannot stop running. We are all screws on top. If the screw is rusty, just polish it, put a little lubricant on, then twist it on again and use it. If it breaks, they’ll find a new screw to replace you. The machine cannot stop.”
This approach is simply not viable when applied to the Singapore Cybersecurity Employment Market. In fact, and to continue the analogy; when a ‘screw’ breaks in Singapore, they are so difficult to replace, the ‘screw’ needs to be imported!
Surveys suggest that Work/Life balance, albeit narrowly, is now the number 1 factor in Singaporean employees deciding whether to change employment. So, what measures can an employer use to recognise the impact from the collision of cultures that has caused this shift in attitudes?
The Singapore Government is already attempting to address this issue, by continually enhancing the incentives to introduce Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA), but can more action be taken? At Cyberstream Global, some of our Partners are already recognising this issue;
Unlimited Annual Leave
Informal ‘flexi-time’, whereby employees are given additional leave during the ‘troughs’ following a ‘peak’ work schedule is already quite common, but start-up US Cyber Security Vendors that we partner with are taking this further. By introducing unlimited Annual Leave, they ‘formalise’ this practice, offer a differentiator against their competitors and eliminate the notion of employees using their Medical Cover (MC) as additional annual leave.
One of our Partners; a European Security Consultancy, actively enforce 20% of an employees’ work schedule as ‘Google Time’. This means they devote 20% of their time to upskilling, contributing to white papers, studying for Certification exams and / or attending Technically focused events. If we are going to make our employees work hard, the work should at least be fulfilling!
We’d love to learn what initiatives your Employer has implemented to improve Work/Life balance in your organisation. Get in touch with us by following in the form below: