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The Big Read: Prolonged pandemic tests trust between bosses and workers – and the picture isn’t pretty for some

EMPLOYEES’ EXPERIENCES 

While some employees have to deal with micromanaging bosses owing to a lack of trust, there are others with more positive experiences.

Mr Elston Aw, 31, who works remotely in Singapore for a start-up based in New York, said that his managers do not track how long he works as long as he makes himself available for meetings late at night here due to time zone differences, and completes his task.

The software engineer said that the flexibility afforded by his company is one reason he decided to take on this role full-time after interning and part-timing for them while he was an undergraduate.

“I want to work feeling like I am a creative, rather than being monitored and being a cog in the machine,” he said.

Another remote employee, Mr Hamren Misai, who works in the maritime industry, said he just has to make sure he is responsive to emails. 

“They (bosses) keep tabs on us, no doubt about it. But as long as I respond to emails, they have nothing to say,” said the 34-year-old.

Rachel (not her real name), a 32-year-old working in the finance industry, said that the trust her bosses have for her has been built over the pandemic.

When work-from-home just started, she received a morning greeting just one minute after her official start time, which she felt was a way for her bosses to check whether she was online.

But this stopped over time and she is appreciative of her managers who don’t require face-time.

“I feel COVID-19 helped with that because employers were forced to, so no choice. It took some time,” she added.

Apart from trust, one other issue that has cropped up when work-from-home started was concerns over employee productivity.

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

“There is this psychological lure, a seduction into being more relaxed and not so hard on yourself during the work day because you know you can catch up later,” said Mr Ong, who works as a legal counsel.

While he is taking a longer time to complete his work, he said his output has not been affected, as it is offset by the fact that he saves time on commuting.

For others like Ms Ashley Chen, 31, having blurred boundaries has, in fact, turned out to be more productive for her.

Ms Chen, who does marketing for a travel agency, said that the flexibility of work-from-anywhere means that she has been able to work without being part of a routinised environment. This has helped her complete the travel guidebook her company is working on as she can work on it over the weekends and at night.

She works mostly at a cafe in Chinatown, which is run by her employer, but she has the flexibility to be constantly on the move.

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

The Big Read: Prolonged pandemic tests trust between bosses and workers – and the picture isn’t pretty for some Source link The Big Read: Prolonged pandemic tests trust between bosses and workers – and the picture isn’t pretty for some

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