The big read: protracted pandemic tests trust between bosses and workers – and the picture isn’t pretty for some



While some employees are faced with micromanagement bosses for lack of confidence, others have more positive experiences.

Mr Elston Aw, 31, who works remotely in Singapore for a New York-based start-up, said his managers didn’t track how long he worked as long as he made himself available for late-night meetings here due to time differences. , and complete its task.

The software engineer said the flexibility his company offers is one of the reasons he decided to take on this role full-time after completing an internship and part-time for them while a student of first cycle.

“I want to work feeling like I’m a creative, rather than being watched and being a cog,” he said.

Another remote employee, Mr Hamren Misai, who works in the shipping industry, said he just had to make sure he was responsive to emails.

“They (the bosses) are watching us, there’s no doubt about it. But as long as I answer the emails, they have nothing to say, “said the 34-year-old.

Rachel (not her real name), a 32-year-old woman working in the financial industry, said the trust her bosses placed in her was built during the pandemic.

When homework had just started, she received a morning greeting just a minute after her official start time, which she said was a way for her bosses to check if she was online.

But it stopped with time and she appreciates her managers who do not need face time.

“I think COVID-19 helped with this because employers had to, so no choice. It took a long time, ”she added.

Besides trust, another issue that arose when working from home started was concerns about employee productivity.

Mr. Ong Bo Xian, 31, subconsciously said that he feels that any time of the day can be used for work due to the lack of separation between home and office.

“There’s that psychological appeal, a seduction to be more relaxed and less hard on yourself during the work day because you know you can catch up later,” said Mr. Ong, who works as a legal advisor. .

Although he takes longer to complete his work, he said his output has not been affected, as it is compensated by the fact that he saves time on commuting.

For others like Ashley Chen, 31, having blurred boundaries has actually proven to be more productive for her.

Ms. Chen, who does marketing for a travel agency, said the flexibility of working from anywhere meant she was able to work without being part of a routine environment. This helped her complete the travel guide her company is working on, as she can work there on weekends and at night.

She mainly works in a cafe in Chinatown, which is run by her employer, but she has the flexibility to be on the move all the time.

“It really depends on my mood … Most of the time it’s just about finding places that allow me to stay longer as there are a lot of dining restrictions. It’s always nice to have a change of environment, ”she added.


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