In his Facebook post, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong called working from home the new norm, angering most employers who are against the policy:

“We must now embrace working from home as the new norm. So even as more Singaporeans return to work during Phase 1 of the reopening plans, we expect the majority of the workforce to continue to work from home.”

Singapore employers and many employees disagree with working from home as it lowers productivity and efficiency. Some employers had suggested that those who work from home will have to accept a lower salary.

Many employees also noted that some of their colleagues are slower in response when working from home, and that the new system will be unfair to those who have to work on site i.e. deliverymen, retail staff and technicians.

“Staff who have to work onsite will then need to be paid more (than office jobs), or nobody will want these jobs”, said an unnamed employer.

Unlike the office environment, most home offices do not have all the equipment like an office printer-scanner that can deal with large volume of paper documents. Some important paperwork, like legal documents and certifications, cannot be transmitted digitally and must also be signed in presence.

Some employees also said they prefer the office environment where they get to interact with colleagues and going for meals together.