Ms Agarwal (Citizens' Panel on Work Life Harmony)
Citizens’ Panel on Work Life Harmony
“I want to see that what I have to juggle today won’t need to be juggled by my daughter in the future.”
As a mother, I feel strongly about work-life harmony. I’ve worked for about 19 years and have an 11-year old daughter. I’ve worked on formal flexible working hours, but I learnt that not many know how they can utilise such arrangements.
This inspired me to share my experience and join the Citizens’ Panel on Work-Life Harmony. One size doesn’t fit all, and we have to look deeper into policies.
The panel took place over four Saturdays, with over 50 participants. We started by sharing our reasons for participating, before splitting into groups and choosing topics we were passionate about.
There were individuals from all walks of life – those who had just started working, those who had left the workforce, academics, and even someone who was working with a start-up.
We brainstormed solutions for issues like stigmas and taboos in the workplace, work practices, HR policies and funding. People even volunteered their time to continue discussions between sessions!
At the end of the sessions, we presented our ideas to the Panel, and voted on the most actionable ones.
So far, there have been policies to address issues about work-life harmony. The next step is to look at our employers – how they are working with the policies and implementing them.
There may be cynicism about Singapore Together initiatives at first, especially among those who have not been involved, and are unsure about what the experience and result will be like.
That’s why it’s important to engage individuals who can connect with the common Singaporean.
People tend to think they’re alone in their struggles. It’s eye-opening when they realise that there are others facing the same problems.
It’s really about a mindset and cultural change. Individuals like us have to drive this. Thereafter, we can focus on the outcome – what gets implemented at the end of the day.
– Ms Agarwal, who was a member of the Work-Life Harmony Citizens’ Panel (NPTD, MOM and MSF).
Learn how we can all work together to make more happen: www.sg #SingaporeTogether