What is the future of work for Singapore companies?

    Nov 25, 2021 @ 09:11 AM / by Natalie Tong


    The future of work in Singapore

    As the end of the year draws closer, we have been busy catching up with clients in Singapore to plan for the coming year. With a total vaccination rate of about 89%, Singapore has one of the highest vaccinated populations globally. In recent months the government had started to gradually loosen travel restrictions to help get the economy back on track.

    Change in Assignments

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous Singaporean-based companies confirmed that it was challenging to send employees on international assignments due to closed borders and safety concerns. Assignees were also unwilling to relocate without their families, so companies had to use virtual assignments to meet talent requirements. As the situation has started to normalize, many companies decided not to continue with virtual assignments as they trigger numerous complexities around taxation and Permanent Establishment risks. Mobility managers are also concerned about the possibility of governments implementing stricter tax and PE rules as many countries have spent substantial amounts of money on COVID-19 relief packages.

    Trends in Mobility

    Mobility managers are anticipating that international assignments will resume in 2022, but more cost-effective measures will be introduced, such as using different assignment approaches, adopting a lower allowance tier, and by switching to more affordable providers.

    Work from home?

    Many companies we work with confirmed they will permanently transition to a hybrid model of working from home and in the office. With this approach, many companies are making evaluations on how to optimize their current physical office space by switching to hot desking arrangements and creating more meeting spaces to encourage teamwork collaboration.

    Home Choices

    This hybrid model has even started to permeate into home choices. We recently saw GuocoLand, one of the biggest residential developers in Singapore, launched Midtown Bay, a residential development that is designed to meet the needs of working from home.

    Nestled along Beach Road in the main CBD area, Midtown Bay is developed to resemble an office environment. Each unit has a reflective white finish that is designed to look like office cabinets. The high ceiling comes together with built-in load-bearing bars to allow owners to set up a platform bed in the room.


    In AIRINC’s recent pulse survey on Sustainability and Global Mobility, 66% of surveyed companies are anticipating that their global mobility program will focus on environmental sustainability initiatives in the next 1-3 years. As the workplace continues to evolve, mobility managers are viewing this hybrid work model as an opportunity to help push companies into meeting sustainability goals. With employees now travelling less for work, companies can help drive down carbon emission and consumption of utilities. This trend will also encourage companies to implement new RFA processes and the use of e-files and docu-signs.

    To learn more about our survey in sustainability and global mobility, please click on the link to download a copy today.


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    Topics: Housing, Benchmarking, Global Mobility, Workforce globalization, Remote worker, Balance Sheet Manager, Mobility trends, Singapore, Policy Flexibility, Distributed Workforce, Strategy, Compensation, Expatriates, sustainability, Work Anywhere

    Natalie Tong

    Written by Natalie Tong

    Natalie has ten years of experience in human resources and global mobility. She is the Senior Client Solutions Manager for AIRINC APAC and is responsible in developing partnerships with APAC based organizations. Natalie has extensive experience in helping Asian-based companies extend their global footprint. Born in Malaysia and educated in Australia, Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Murdoch University, Perth Western Australia and speaks four languages.