Workplace Culture - Page 3

Integrating Digital Literacy In The Finance Team Without Apprehension


Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 15 September 2022

Dedicated efforts to improve digital literacy will give the workforce the skills necessary to evaluate digital solutions, prevent cyberthreats and utilise tools.

The importance of digital financial literacy in the digital age is anticipated to rise. According to a collaborative study by Microsoft and IDC Asia Pacific, in order to thrive through COVID-19, almost 75% of Singaporean enterprises will need to speed up the digitalization of their processes.

Due in large part to forced closures and lower operating capacity brought on by lockdowns, many businesses suffered considerable revenue losses, hastening the migration of procedures and services to online platforms to guarantee operational and business continuity.

The results demonstrate how adopting a digital strategy will help firms optimize digital tools and platforms to boost the quality, reliability, and productivity of operations. This underlines the necessity for companies and their staff to be digitally literate in order for them to better recognize the digital gaps in their processes, choose the appropriate digital solutions, and develop the necessary skills to properly utilize such tools.

Integrating Workplace Digital Literacy Seamlessly

1. Offer Training

Employees who receive regular training are better able to keep up with the constantly changing technological advancements that take place in the digital age. Employees are encouraged to incorporate their own personal online security habits into the company’s digital footprint in order to increase their own knowledge of cyberthreats.

Regular employee training can be augmented by periodic performance audits, which would show how effectively businesses are currently handling their digital environments. These audits can be incorporated into cyclical evaluations, which would highlight specific areas that needed development in order to guarantee a greater rate of continuity towards workplace digital literacy.

2. Engaging Service Providers

Through services like cloud consulting (outside parties) such specialized digital transformation organizations, can solve the intellectual and technical gaps between a business and the technology they want to adopt.

For instance, a business moving to the cloud could need outside assistance to automate the transfer process. The service providers were able to quickly migrate the organization’s data to the online platform by making it easier for them to do so, while also enabling other departments to autonomously cooperate digitally on the platform. This solution enabled the business to successfully complete a migration cutover with no errors and little downtime.

3. Foster A Positive Digital Workplace Culture

The workplace needs to foster a culture that supports ongoing digital learning because the technology environment is constantly evolving. The degree of digital education will increase for all working professions as the trend of digital migration continues to permeate organizational infrastructures.

The effectiveness of online cooperation and problem-solving efforts will be enhanced by digital literacy. Such expansion only strengthens the core effectiveness of data governance, improving a company’s capacity to not only survive but also thrive in the current and future digital era.

Businesses must be able to maximize the value of the digital tools at their disposal given the growing significance of digital transformation in today’s environment. Dedicated efforts to improve digital literacy will give the workforce the skills necessary to evaluate these products’ features critically and determine whether they are using the most recent versions. By minimizing their own cognitive burden associated with comprehending the technical aspects of these tools, businesses may determine whether the current tools need to be upgraded, maximizing the productivity of their processes.

Unclear Roles Between Managers And Employees Pose Key Challenge In Workplace Learning


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 15 September 2022

Clear and open communication at the workplace is important.

  • Employees are more likely to regard managers as the main champion for workplace learning (29%) as they have a better understanding of employees’ learning needs (75%) and have more visibility over them (63%).
  • However, 31% of managers say employees should be the main driver for learning and development.
  • Nearly a third of employees (27%) share that there is no official communication from their organisation about learning and development, while 39% of managers say that the lack of requests from employees is the primary reason for not enrolling them in training.

Clear and open communication at the workplace is important, as it promotes the success of a business and ensures everyone in the organisation is headed towards the same direction, including learning and development (L&D).

However, unclear roles and responsibilities between managers and employees is a major barrier in implementing L&D at the workplace, where 29% of employees regard managers as the main champion for workplace learning. Conversely, 31% of managers say employees should be the main driver for L&D.

These are some of the key findings from NTUC LearningHub’s State of Workplace Learning (SWL) Report 2022 launched recently. The SWL Report 2022 is based on a survey of 450 full-time professionals based in Singapore, including 150 managers and 300 working professionals.

The SWL Report 2022 aims to uncover the dual perspective on the role of managers in employee learning and the current and desired states of workplace learning and is a continuation to the Workforce Learning in Workplace Transformation Report 2021 (link). 

According to employees, the top three reasons why managers should be the main driver of L&D are better understanding of employees’ learning needs (75%), more visibility over employees (63%), and more control / influence over what employees can do (57%).

Nearly a third of employees (27%) cite the lack of official communication from their organisation about training opportunities. On the other hand, almost two in five managers (39%) admit that they do not send their employees for training as the staff do not request for it.

In addition, almost three in five respondents (60% of employees, and 55% of managers) agree that managers should lead by example and take up training themselves.

Commenting on the survey sentiments, Dean Tong, Head of Group Human Resources, UOB, says, “UOB believes that continuous learning is integral to the growth of our people. Besides collaborating with partners like NTUC LearningHub, we have rolled out learning and development (L&D) programmes such as our flagship reskilling programme; Better U, to actively support our employees to upgrade themselves.

To ensure that L&D is relevant and timely, we adopt a two-pronged approach in empowering our managers to nominate employees for suitable L&D programmes, while also encouraging employees to attend courses through our online learning platform as well as various open-enrolment programmes under Better U. In 2021, we invested more than S$23.3m in L&D and will continue to explore new and better ways to enable our employees to remain active learners.”

Commenting on the findings, NTUC LearningHub’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Sean Lim, says, “Both managers and employees need to recognise that learning and development is a two-way conversation, and a collaborative decision on learning and development is the best middle ground. Continuous communication between both parties is necessary to facilitate efficient workplace learning strategies and programmes.

Managers have an important role to play, as they are able to provide support and clarity to employees on the training that they could take up that are beneficial to both the employee and the organisation. Managers can better support their employees’ learning and development by helping the employee to identify specific progression gaps and map their learning journey. That said, employees should also assume personal responsibility in identifying and committing time and resources to upgrade themselves and make lifelong learning a habit.”

To download the State of Workplace Learning Report 2022, please visit

Unleashing Growth: Ride The Wave Or Create It?


Synpulse | 24 August 2022

Synpulse has been making great strides in the financial services industry generating substantial growth in its business and employee community.

In 2019, the consulting and tech firm has created a mandate to accelerate its growth to 1000 full-time global employees by 2025. In double-quick time – as of June 2022, they had already amassed a total of 948 FTEs globally. The firm expects to accomplish the mandate to have a thousand-strong workforce in just a few months. Synpulse’s talent retention know-how, people-first culture, fun yet professional environment, and continuous search for exceptional talents helped double the size of its global team significantly, especially amid the pandemic. 

However, this is not the case for many companies globally. According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of employees are looking for a new job or have plans to; suggesting that The Great Resignation is not showing signs of abating.  Lockdowns, which have led to remote work arrangements, have resulted in people re-evaluating their professional relationships, career trajectory, and quality of life.

From a business perspective, the challenges in recent years have presented a rare opportunity for business experimentation – employers are now rethinking ways to drive productivity while keeping employees happy and healthy. The nine-to-five workweek is now often spoken of as a thing of the past and is being replaced by an almost infinite number of work arrangements – fully remote, and hybrid, among others. We’re also seeing the four-day workweek being seriously considered in various countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. A pilot programme has already been launched in the UK.  

From an individual professional’s perspective, switching jobs has never been easier. You no longer need to uproot your life and “move closer to the office”. If you have a laptop and a high-speed internet connection, you’re set. 

According to Pew Research Center survey, the majority of workers who quit their job in 2021 cited low pay (63%), no opportunities for advancement (63%), and feeling disrespected at work (57%) as reasons why they quit.

How Did Synpulse Overcome This? 

For Synpulse, they are underpinned by what they call the “Diamond Strategy”, a group-wide strategy aimed at taking their firm to the next level by expanding their consulting, technology, and managed platform offerings, and growing their team to create sustainable value for their clients.  This strategy backs up the strategic decisions in each of its offices around the globe.

In the past three years, the firm made bold moves to align with its strategy by restructuring governance and expanding its geographical presence. One that is very significant is the appointment of co-CEOs for APAC and EUUS to provide laser-focused leadership in each region to expand the business. The organization has also established a physical presence in Bratislava, Luxembourg, Taipei, Shenzhen, Jakarta, Pune, and Hyderabad, and has extended its service offerings to Atlanta and Toronto to better serve  and be closer to their clients as well as tap exceptional talents in these key markets.

Having a firm-wide strategy has fostered a sense of unity amongst employees in the company, who then collaboratively work toward the same goals. Knowing (and caring about) where they are going is important – that’s why the company makes sure that every idea is welcomed, every contribution is recognised and every employee has a stake in the business. 

The start of 2022 was particularly exciting for the consulting firm. They launched their tech powerhouse – Synpulse8 – to bring together the firm’s full suite of end-to-end services through the combination of strategy and development to implementation and management. This also opened new career opportunities to those who wish to shift from consulting to tech to allow those with a deep passion for tech to streamline their career trajectory against their skills and goals.

Most recently, Synpulse announced a partnership with fintech incubator F10 – pledging to invest the equivalent of 1% of its annual revenue into the start-up accelerator. The funds are intended to allow F10 to grow both into new geographies, as well as in its current hubs in Europe and Asia, and fuel the growth of the most innovative start-ups.  As with Synpulse’s other partnerships, they are looking at contributing to the strategic direction and innovation of the growing Fintech ecosystem.  

Synpulse has been working hard to identify market gaps, create sustainable solutions, make a lasting impact on the industry, and most of all grow and nurture its people. The firm has proven that it takes the right team, great strategy, top-of-the-line innovation, and well-planned execution to succeed.

Small Businesses Facing Up to ‘The Great Resignation’


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 18 August 2022

Instead of working late hours, slogging away for the good of the company, many workers are now doing just enough in the office to keep up.

Over the past couple of years, the working world has been forced to adapt to a massively transformed and restrictive environment. This year, however, sees a slow return to how things were, but as we emerge and move forward into ‘The New Normal’ it is becoming clear that things are far from normal.

A clear sign of this is what has become known as “The Great Resignation”, where employees are leaving roles to find new opportunities or for a change in environment. Businesses the world over are suffering the fallout of the Great Resignation but one of the interesting results that have come out of it and, incidentally, one that has manifested itself across several small businesses within the MBH Corporation, has been a radical change in the two ‘R’s – Recruitment and Retention.

The term “great resignation” was coined in May 2021 by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at University College London, when he predicted an exodus of American workers from their jobs, prompted by burnout, and the taste of freedom while working from home. Ranjay Gulati of Harvard Business School has instead characterised it as a “great rethink”, where people evaluate their lives and options.

Whichever way you phrase it, the results are the same. Instead of working late hours, slogging away for the good of the company, many workers are now doing just enough in the office to keep up, then leaving on time or they are simply leaving their jobs for something more satisfying.

Getting No Satisfaction

According to Maria Kordowicz, an Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour at the University of Nottingham and Director of its Centre for Interprofessional Education and Learning, in an interview with The Guardian Newspaper, the rise in this sort of behaviour is linked to a noticeable fall in job satisfaction.

The global workplace report for 2022 by Gallup showed that only 24% of workers in Southeast Asia were engaged or enthusiastic about their work while 40% felt it was a good time to leave or change their jobs.

“The number one issue for all of us is employees, attracting them and retaining them,” states Jim Burton, CEO of Boulder Sausage and part of the MBH Corporation.  “Recently, a 5-year employee handed in her resignation because she wanted to go back to being a full-time mother.”

One of the reasons for the Great Resignation is that people have had time, while working from home, to re-examine their work lives, which has led to questions such as, “Am I happy?”, “What should work mean for me?” and “How can I do a role that’s more aligned to my values?”

Thriving, Not Surviving

Naturally, The Great Resignation has not gone unnoticed by employers, and many have taken steps to address the ever-expanding unhappiness, however, despite our best intentions, the old trope of monetary rewards is not the answer.

According to Gallup’s Global Workplace Report for 2022, organisations need to think about the whole person and not just ‘the worker’. The report states that leaders need to add wellbeing measurements to their executive dashboards as it can alert them to critical warning signs that do not show up on traditional spreadsheets. They also need to prioritise employee wellbeing as part of their employer brand promise. When leaders take responsibility for the wellbeing of their workers, the result is not only productive organisations, but thriving individuals, families and communities.

Callum Laing, CEO, MBH Corporation plc said “When employers show concern for the development and wellbeing of their employees, it makes a huge difference across the board. Whether it is helping with the development of their career or ensuring they have a good work/life balance so that they can put in a productive day’s work and have time with their families, it makes a difference to the employees and it develops a strong connection to the company and the brand.”

Unsurprisingly, this is something that small businesses have shown an aptitude for. This is possibly because of the higher tendency among small organisations to develop a family-like culture within the company.

“One of the great things about small businesses is you can be a family culture,” states Burton. “You can bring people together and you can really get through tough times together when you behave like a family and work like a family.”

David Hunter, CEO of ADT Taxis in the UK, is well-versed with the changes around staffing that have been brought on by the Pandemic. The change in dynamic and priorities has forced ADT to entirely re-evaluate how they manage recruitment and retention.

“Before 2020 we were very much customer-focused, and all our marketing budget went into the customer. Now, 50% of it goes back towards the driver and we are regularly running academies across the UK near where we have sites to recruit drivers,” states Hunter. “We have had to take a good look at ourselves and how we operate to realise that drivers are revenue earners for us.”

Mind Space vs Work Space

Beyond the immediate concern of directly engaging employees, organisations are now also looking towards how they can create more engaging environments that can draw their employees back to the office.

According to Gauri Talathi-Lamb, CEO of Du Boulay Contracts, another MBH company, office spaces are becoming more experiential. “Employers are making their offices more attractive and giving staff a reason to keep coming into the office,” states Talathi-Lamb. “You see this more in the Space-As-A-Service industry, which has become more of a hospitality-led office space. You see a lot more hospitality related elements like good barista coffees, a pool table, and other similar things”

However, whether it is engaging employees in the business, giving them greater meaning in their jobs or creating an engaging, experiential environment that will inspire them, it is becoming clear that organisations are recognising the importance of employee engagement, wellbeing and morale and the role those factors play in retaining great staff.

“Over the past couple of years, we have started doing one-to-ones with the drivers, we’ve even set it up so that part of the call centre is now speaking with drivers on a weekly basis to make sure they’re ok or if there is anything we can do for them,” shares Hunter. “Without our drivers, we can’t sell a journey and without those staff members representing you, you don’t have a business.”

“Small businesses have always been about everyone pulling together to get the job done,” according to Laing. “That hasn’t changed over the years, and it is not surprising that they embrace the idea of taking care of their employees holistically. Small companies are exceptionally reliant on their employees being engaged and passionate about the business and a small business that is focused on solving problems and achieving success will embrace this idea wholeheartedly.”

The Key Role Of DE&I In Business Sustainability


Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 10 August 2022

The connection between Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I).

These days, companies, governments, nations, and futurists frequently utilize the terms sustainability and sustainable development. While everyone is working to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it has been identified as a megatrend in numerous notable publications. In spite of this, many people have begun to wonder how sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are related both globally and within their own organizations.

To find out how Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) are the missing link to all our sustainability efforts, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Dr. Josh Heniro, Senior Director, IMA Southeast Asia & Australasia

DE&I In Helping Companies Become Sustainable

A company’s biggest asset is its people. For an organization to be sustainable long-term, leadership must focus on attracting and retaining talent. However, our report, “Diversifying Asia-Pacific Accounting Talent: A Critical Imperative to Achieve Transformational Outcomes,” found that on average, more than one-third of female respondents and about half of the respondents who identify as members of minority ethnic groups, indicated that they left a company due to the lack of equitable treatment. When we assessed the impact of DE&I on talent retention within the profession, as many as 17% of female and 20% of minority ethnic groups respondents reported inequitable and exclusive experiences that were believed to be rooted in bias to be a contributing factor to their decision to leave the accounting and finance profession. 

“For a company to become sustainable and be around for the long-term, they need to look into attracting and retaining talent, with a commitment to DE&I initiatives to promote a diversified, equal, and inclusive work culture.”

Dr. Josh Heniro, Senior Director, IMA Southeast Asia & Australasia

The Race Towards Sustainability; Remaining As The Top Few Runners With DE&I

DE&I in an organization requires the collaboration and effort of everyone involved. Each has a part to play in ensuring a diversified, equal, and inclusive organization, from employees and management to the HR department. IMA’s report highlighted four primary categories: awareness, attraction, promotion, and accountability. 

Firstly, managers need to be aware of identifying and mitigating conscious and unconscious bias so that people of different backgrounds can be seen as talented, capable, and valued contributors. Employees will also need to communicate with their supervisors if they are faced with a situation that undermines their abilities due to conscious and unconscious bias. Open communication should be encouraged, so employees are not afraid to share honest feedback for the organization to grow. 

Secondly, a collective effort of employees and the HR department is required to attract and promote the organization as a desirable place to work regardless of gender, ethnicity, or race. This can vary from underrepresented employees being mentors to promoting interactions and identifying shared values with potential hires of diverse backgrounds.

Thirdly, supervisors must ensure that specific steps are taken so that people of diverse backgrounds have equitable access to the factors that enable career progression. For instance, supervisors can assign people to clients, teams, and projects without favoritism, bias, or presumptions about interests and capabilities. Additionally, employees, regardless of their background, need to be provided exposure to how things work at the higher levels to prepare and groom them for senior management roles. One point our survey respondents and interviewees highlighted was that diverse talents often “stay quiet” and do not report instances of microaggressions for fear of retaliation or lack of anonymity. Hence, it is also essential for HR departments and supervisors to offer a follow-up process to correct microaggressions and take action against it once it is identified. 

Lastly, it is also vital for supervisors to measure the performance and progress of all employees regarding the first three components – awareness, attraction, and promotion. Internal processes are required to heighten awareness and eliminate microaggressions tied with constant measurement and progress reporting not only on diversity, but also on equity and inclusion. Leaders in practice are also needed to be held accountable with links to compensation and performance to ensure that performance and progress are tracked and compensated fairly. 

“All parties, from the employees to the HR department and leaders, must make a collective effort to ensure that an organization supports DE&I initiatives to remain competitive,” says Dr. Josh Heniro, Senior Director, IMA Southeast Asia & Australasia.

The First Step To Becoming A More Sustainable Business

As many know, sustainability has a vast potential for organizations. A McKinsey study found that a $9.2 trillion investment is required annually until 2050, where $6.2 trillion would go to low-emissions assets and enabling infrastructure annually. However, investing in the environment is just one of the steps in becoming a more sustainable business. 

On a smaller scale, companies can ensure fair DE&I practices within the organization for its first step, fulfilling the “S” of “ESG”. As mentioned previously, employees are the company’s biggest asset. Talent is required to help carry the profession’s transformational efforts forward to ensure the business’ and the profession’s longevity. Having a diversified, equal, and inclusive culture enables the constant flow of new ideas and perspectives due to the different backgrounds of the employees, lifting the company to scale greater heights for long-term growth. 

Getting Employees On Board And Hands-On Towards A More Sustainable Future

As mentioned above, companies need to build a solid foundation in DE&I practices and ensure that employees of diverse backgrounds are being taken care of in terms of awareness, attraction, promotion, and accountability. Once a stable base is built, the company will eventually see the birth of new ideas and perspectives, which would be essential for long-term growth and a sustainable future. 

Japanese Software Company Provides Inflation Relief Allowance For SEA Employees 


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 8 August 2022

In response to rapid cost-of-living increases around the world, Tokyo-based IT company Cybozu is paying employees a one-time special inflation relief allowance.

 Cybozu Inc., a Japanese provider of groupware solutions for businesses, is providing its employees with a special one-time inflation relief allowance to offset the effects of global inflationary trends. The allowance will be dispensed to Cybozu employees, regardless of contract type, across its global locations, including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, the United States, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Australia.

“Since the beginning of 2022, the world has been experiencing increasing prices of many basic commodities, from groceries to gas to utilities,” said Cybozu CEO Yoshihisa Aono. “Our annual salary review normally occurs in January, but we realized inflation concerns had to be dealt with urgently. We chose to provide this special allowance so that Cybozu employees around the world can go about their daily lives feeling less anxiety about the rising cost of living.”

At Kintone Southeast Asia, full-time employees in Malaysia and Thailand will receive payments ranging from USD$200 to USD$300. This payment takes into consideration several local factors, including the cost of living, the financial impact of inflation, taxes, and social security contributions, among others — and is optimized for each country.

President of Kintone Southeast Asia Sdn. Bhd., Tsubasa Nakazawa, noted that Cybozu’s inflationary remedy aligns with Kintone’s commitment in nurturing the potential of its team members. “I have received really positive feedback from our employees. During this difficult economic time, they are grateful for the company’s swift and efficient response to the financial pressures we’ve all been facing.”

Innovation Challenge to Elevate Fintechs with New Solutions to Close the Gender Gap in Financial Services


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 4 August 2022

Competition invites later stage fintechs pioneering innovative financial solutions for the low-income women’s market to apply; finalists and winner to access premier fintech networks and resources.

Women’s World Banking announced today the 2023 Fintech Innovation Challenge, a global competition to highlight and advance solutions to close the gender gap through digital financial services. Now in its fourth year and the only women-centered fintechs competition, the Challenge will provide a platform for later stage fintechs working to address the persistent challenges in serving the low-income women’s market.

According to the latest Global Findex Report, the number of women adopting digital financial services has risen dramatically since 2017, with the gender gap dropping from 9% to 6% in key emerging markets. But despite these advances, 742 million women are still excluded from the formal financial sector, and women are 31% more likely than men to have an inactive bank account.

Digital financial services can serve as an on-ramp for low-income women to adopt and use a large suite of formal financial products and services, expanding women’s choices and their financial and economic resilience and empowerment. Low-income women represent a large, untapped market opportunity for digital financial services providers, particularly fintechs leveraging technology to close the gender gap in financial services.

“To achieve the promise of inclusive growth for the global economy, women need equal access to financial products, services, skills and technology,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “Fintechs are uniquely positioned to help close the digital financial services gap because they have the ability to provide products and services differently and can efficiently meet the needs of low-income women in ways that traditional financial services providers can’t or won’t.”

Applications for the Challenge will be open from August 3 to September 15. Entry categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Sending and receiving money
  • Credit for women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
  • Safety net products (insurance, savings and pensions)
  • Beyond money (financial and digital capabilities, and other business support services)

The top four finalists of the Challenge will participate in an in-person pitch competition next February in Dubai, and be fast-tracked for participation in the Women’s Economic Empowerment Accelerator, powered by the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. They will also receive pitch advice and a UX design consultation. The Grand Prize winner will receive access to key 2023 fintech events like Point Zero, Elevandi Connects, and the Singapore Fintech Festival, as well as a speaker invitation at a Women’s World Banking Making Finance Work for Women event.

All female-founded fintechs that make it to the top 12 of the competition will be selected for the first-ever Female Founders Circle, an exclusive network of like-minded female-founded fintechs, and will be promoted through a robust integrated communications, marketing and media campaign. 

“Participating in the Women’s World Banking Fintech Innovation Challenge drove us to learn more deeply how we can better serve our women customers,” said Rachel Freeman, Chief Growth Officer at Tyme, a 2020 Fintech Innovation Challenge Winner. “It gave us global recognition at a crucial time in our expansion into the Asian market and during our recent capital raise, and we got valuable feedback from the judges that helped us refine our proposition.”

The top twelve finalists and Female Founders Circle participants will be announced on October 26, with the top four finalists announced on January 9, 2023. The Grand Prize winner of the Fintech Innovation Challenge will be announced in Dubai, on February 16, 2023 following the pitch competition.

The Fintech Innovation Challenge is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Leading Sponsor) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US and Advancing Sponsor). Women’s World Banking’s core funders are Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and Visa Foundation.

Employee-Centric Workplace Design Redefining Hybrid Work in a Talent-Tight Market


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 4 August 2022

Ecosystm and Neat study reveals links between successful workplace design, worker wellbeing and productivity as investment in EX grows.

As competition for talent remains tight, employers are facing increasing pressure to evolve traditional workplace design thinking and put employee needs and preferences front and centre of business strategies. Staying in tune with worker wants in 2022 and beyond requires investing in technology that enables staff to keep connected and productive wherever they are based as employee attention shifts from The Great Resignation to The Great Re-Evaluation, according to new research from advisory firm, Ecosystm.

Ecosystm’s latest ‘Voice of the Employee’ Research, delivered in partnership with Neat, found half of all knowledge workers within Asia Pacific(APAC) want the ability to choose where they work, further exemplifying the pressing need for employers to understand and adapt to the reality of hybrid work as the norm and the role collaboration technology plays in its successful delivery.

Ecosystm’s research, based on a survey of 1,043 knowledge workers throughout APAC, reveals the latest trends reshaping how we work including changing employee priorities, what makes effective hybrid workspaces, the role of technology, and the necessity of HR and IT to jointly develop employee experience strategies.

Audrey William, Principal Advisor at Ecosystm, says, “The last two years ignited the shift to digitisation and more flexible working models, while also causing people and teams to reconsider their priorities. For instance, many have put much more stock in their health and wellbeing and want to be able to work both remotely and in an office.

“To successfully transition to a virtual-led, hybrid work model, organisations need to act swiftly or risk getting left behind. As businesses make the move into this next phase of recovery and growth, it’s crucial to understand how we can design our workspaces and leadership teams to give employees what they want and need including best in class technology.”

Workplaces are evolving amidst waves of people leaving or changing jobs. In fact, in APAC 33% of knowledge workers expected to change either their job or entire career in 2022. With only 15% of Asia Pacific employees satisfied with traditional work hours, attracting, and retaining talent will be strongly influenced by an organisation’s ability to provide flexible and hybrid work practices, the research reveals.      

How businesses can do this comes down to workplace design and technology, with offices that are purpose-built to include quiet spaces, collaborative zones, and rooms setup for video conferencing. These changes are already underway within the APAC region according to Ecosystm’s findings that showed 32% of organisations are increasing the number of quiet open spaces, 26% are setting up more ‘hot desks’ for workers who spend time both in the office and working remotely, while 23% are improving the office experience with better lighting and outdoor areas. Additionally, while 21% of respondents are increasing the size of the meeting rooms, most are choosing a different approach, creating smaller, purposeful meeting and huddle rooms. 

Simen Teigre, CEO of Neat, comments, “Technology is a core pillar of an effective hybrid workspace. When it was a necessity, many businesses moved into remote working setups at a rapid pace. Now, we must consider where the gaps are for a hybrid workforce and how we can continue to develop and evolve our investment in technology to benefit our people. This includes putting the employee experience (EX) at the forefront, to ensure our teams are supported both professionally and personally.”

Improving EX requires investments into a range of technology capabilities such as workload storage, collaboration capacity, employee wellbeing trackers, and cyber risk management. It can also include virtual whiteboards, noise cancelling headphones, and voice and video equipment.

Teigre says collectively workplace design and new collaboration technology is redefining what hybrid workplaces look like as the link between engagement, wellbeing and work environments strengthens.

Ecosystm and Neat have explored these trends and others in their study to identify ways in which organisations can future proof their business and workforce. The report can be found here.

Indonesia’s Best Managed Companies In 2022 According To Deloitte


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 3 August 2022

Mowilex earns recognition for its commitment to sustainability, innovation and leadership.

PT Mowilex Indonesia (Mowilex) has earned a 2022 Best Managed Companies in Indonesia award from Deloitte, becoming the only paint company to receive the prestigious honour. The Indonesia’s Best Managed Companies program recognises top privately-owned Indonesian companies for their organisational success, industry contributions and economic impact.

An independent panel evaluated applicants against a framework applied to 1,200 other companies in 48 countries worldwide. Judges reviewed strategy, management quality, capabilities and innovation, culture and commitment, and governance and financials.

Mowilex stood out among a large and competitive field thanks, in part, to its commitment to quality and environmental responsibility.

“An award is a snapshot in time, not a destination. Mowilex faces complex challenges and formidable competition, but we succeed when we embrace leadership opportunities and strive for continuous improvement,” says Niko Safavi, CEO of PT Mowilex Indonesia. “Our vision is to be the most trusted paint brand in our market. This Deloitte recognition proves that we can be just that.”

Safavi received the Best Managed Companies award during a July ceremony at the Hotel Pullman Jakarta. Several Deloitte representatives gathered to recognise Mowilex and other 2022 winners.

The inclusion of these six companies in this year’s winners’ list, as well as their contributions to the business community and the Indonesian economy, should make them extremely proud. These companies are at the forefront of their industries, having demonstrated such creativity and innovation, especially over the past couple of years. We applaud the 2022 winners of Indonesia’s Best Managed Companies,” says Claudia Lauw, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Indonesia.

By participating in the evaluation process, business leaders gain insights that help them refine operations and optimize growth.

“It can be difficult for people outside our industry to get excited about paint, and we appreciate that Deloitte chose Mowilex from a field of large, well-managed companies and high-profile unicorns here in Indonesia,” says Safavi. “Each Mowilex team member does their part to work efficiently and effectively. This Best Managed Companies award recognises that company-wide commitment to success.”

The Indonesia’s Best Managed Companies award is based on the 29-year-old global Best Managed Companies program, an initiative of Deloitte Private. For information on Mowilex products and sustainability initiatives, please visit

Managing Harassment In The Workplace


Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 29 July 2022

Business executives need to understand workplace harassment in order to prevent a hostile work climate in their company.

There is workplace harassment, and it should not be disregarded or treated casually. Business executives must understand workplace harassment in order to prevent a hostile work climate in their company, which can range from bullying to blatant discrimination. Businesses can take the required action to ensure a safe working environment for all of their employees by developing a workplace harassment policy.

While verbal is the most common sort, there are also more dangerous variations including physical and sexual harassment. Workplace harassment of any kind is forbidden and not accepted. They not only have an impact on a worker’s performance, comfort, and safety at work, but they can also expose a company to legal risk if harassment is not handled correctly.

Types Of Workplace Harassment

It is not always easy to recognize workplace harassment because it can take many different forms. Knowing the many signs of workplace harassment can help you spot it when it affects you or a coworker.

Verbal harassment

The constant war of devastation that verbal abuse can be can endanger both your job and health. It comprises of insulting comments, rude body language, and irrational criticism. It may include epithets, slurs, offensive jokes, and cruel remarks. Since verbal harassment is a non-physical type of violence, it can be challenging to identify and frequently falls into a gray area.


Even if it occurs online, digital harassment can be equally as harmful as bullying that occurs in person. It is the most recent type of harassment, and it happens everywhere. Digital harassment involves sending threats or humiliating remarks online, adopting a false identity to bully someone, constructing a webpage about the victim to ridicule and denigrate them, and making untrue claims. Given the prevalence of internet-connected devices in the office and the increased acceptance of forbidden topics for discussion, social media use in the workplace has become widespread. Anyone can now easily harass others online.

Physical Harassment

The severity of physical harassment at work varies. Simple unwanted gestures, such as touching an employee’s hair, face, or clothing, as well as more severe ones, such as physical assault, threats of violence, and damage to private property, can all fall under this category. Physical harassment can vary greatly in severity, making it challenging to pinpoint. If there is no bodily harm done, some physical harassment might be dismissed as a joke. It may nonetheless qualify as physical harassment even if no serious physical injury results. Employees should call the police right away if there is violence and refrain from becoming involved.

Sexual harassment

Contrary to popular belief, sexual harassment is a serious infraction that occurs frequently. Anyone can engage in or experience sexual harassment. Unwanted sexual advances including inappropriate touching, sexual jokes, exchanging pornography, sending sexual messages, or asking for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or job security are all considered sexual harassment. It may not always be easy to define sexual harassment, despite the fact that it may appear simple.

The majority of the time, it is concealed in light-hearted banter, unoffensive remarks coupled by suggestive body language or tones, or embarrassing but initially innocent words that negatively represent members of a particular gender, typically women. As a result, there is room for ambiguity, which makes it simple for offenders to get away with their actions.

Prevention Tips For Business Leaders

Now comes the responsibility of every business leader. They need to be very vigilant when it comes to situations involving harassment. Their first priority needs to be, taking measures to guarantee that harassment does not take place in the first place. For which they must ensure the following:

Written Policy Against Harassment:

The business must have a written policy that is very explicit, concise, and well-explained regarding what constitutes harassment, how it may be reported, and what sanctions will be applied to those found guilty. Their legal counsel must be consulted while creating this policy. The policy must clearly declare that the company will not allow any form of harassment and will act right away if such instances are discovered. Examples of workplace harassment must be given and may involve discrimination in the form of inappropriate physical contact, bullying, intimidation, or offensive remarks.

Training Sessions:

The company must look into two types of trainings:

1. Training sessions on respecting your coworkers, acting ethically, and upholding workplace civility.

2. Training on what constitutes harassment under company and national legislation. methods for reporting abuse (seen or personally experienced). What punishments will be imposed on anyone found guilty or accused of harassing? investigation process that will be followed after a report has been filed.

Open Discussion Policy:

It is crucial for a company to develop a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and reporting any challenges they may be having. The workforce feels free to approach and lodge a complaint in such a setting. When an employee notices the earliest indications of abuse, he could step up and report them rather than waiting until things get out of hand if he feels that he will be heard.

Actions in Case of Harassment

Sadly, if a complaint of harassment is made by an employee, the company must take the following actions:

Hearing Out: In this circumstance, the company needs to play a very consoling role. The employee who is reporting needs to be taken seriously and must be given the chance to clarify their issue in full. In the same vein, the accused must also be given a fair opportunity to explain.

Written Records: The complaint and the accused’s defence must both be documented in writing, and a case file must be kept at all times.

Internal Investigation: The company must right away look into the character and moral history of both the accuser and the complainant. This guarantees the veracity of the complaint and provides a pattern of the alleged offender’s behavior. 

Gathering Evidence: In order to gather as much information as possible, the company must look into coworkers and prospective witnesses.

Legal Action: After the company has thoroughly investigated the incident, they should consult with their attorneys and handle the situation legally.

It is extremely important for company executives to take responsibility for workplace harassment or abuse. Companies need to have extremely strict procedures defining harassment and its repercussions. These guidelines must be very explicit. Every new hire must receive thorough orientation and training on what constitutes abuse and its components. If this is given top priority, a company can maintain an abuse-free culture, considerably enhancing the overall health of the workplace.

60% Of Managers In Singapore Say Company Leadership Is Out Of Touch With Employee Expectations


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 14 June 2022

Microsoft has released its second annual Work Trend Index report, “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work.”

Microsoft has released its second annual Work Trend Index report, “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work.” According to the study, 60% of managers in Singapore say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations, while 78% of managers in Singapore say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.

The 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five locally relevant trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including Singapore, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labor trends on LinkedIn:

  1. Employees are redefining what’s “worth it”. 52% of employees in Singapore are more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic. 23% employees left their jobs last year, but the Great Reshuffle isn’t over: 63% of Gen Z and Millennials in Singapore are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead.
  2. Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. While more than half (51%) of leaders in Singapore plan on bringing full-time in-person work, but employees feel otherwise. More than half (53%) of workers in Singapore are considering a switch to remote or hybrid. As a result, the differences in expectations left managers feeling like they don’t have the power to drive change in their team.
  3. Leaders need to make the office worth the commute. 38% of hybrid employees in Singapore say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office. Yet, only 30% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.
  4. Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. 49% of leaders in Singapore say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote. However, with workers in Singapore considering a shift to remote or hybrid in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office as they rebuild social capital.
  5. Flexibility doesn’t have to mean “always on.” Hybrid work has opened the doors for more flexible work, but the digital overload has caused people to spend more time engaging with work. Our global data showed that the workday span for average Microsoft Teams user has increased by 13% or 46 minutes. After-hours work and weekend work have also increased 28% and 14% respectively.

Lee Hui Li, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore shared, “The past two years prompted many of us to review our priorities and how we navigate work, especially when flexibility and well-being become non-negotiables for our people. Today, we are not the same people who went home to work in early 2020. Hence, leaders must embrace these new expectations with the right tools and reciprocal policies in place, so they can set their people and their business up for long-term success, as they build a resilient, digitally inclusive economy”.

Making hybrid work work for everyone will require intentional leadership around how, when and where to work — and technology has a key role to play. Today, Microsoft is introducing new features across its suite of solutions designed to improve the hybrid work experience.

  • The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time. The meeting organizer can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings.
  • To improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail.
  • In Singapore, Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect, in partnership with Singtel. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions.
  • To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting.

To learn more, visit the Singapore News Center,Official Microsoft BlogMicrosoft 365 Blog and the new Work Trend Index report.

Workato Expands Leadership for the Next Phase of Growth in People and Culture


DigitalCFO Newsroom | 23 May 2022

The enterprise automation company welcomes Carle Quinn as Chief People Officer; Kerry Moore as Vice President, Talent & Diversity; and Keith Tyndall as Vice President of Corporate and Brand Marketing amid accelerated growth.

Workato, a leading enterprise automation platform, today  announced the appointments of Carle Quinn as Chief People Officer; Kerry Moore as its first Vice President of Talent & Diversity; and Keith Tyndall as Vice President of Corporate and Brand Marketing. Quinn, Moore and Tyndall join Workato during a phase of hyper-growth for the company as the platform continues to experience rapid adoption across key industry verticals,  requiring support from a diverse portfolio of talent within leadership. After a year of record momentum, which included raising over $420 million in total funding to date with a $5.7 billion  valuation, and recently being named to the 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50 List, Workato’s expansion  of hiring signals newfound growth in 2022.  

“We are fortunate to have experienced an over 200% increase in employee headcount in 2021 and pride ourselves, from the executive level down, on being an eclectic group of individuals,” said Workato Founder and CEO, Vijay Tella. “We’re thrilled to welcome new talent across departments to support Workato’s continued growth. Carle, Kerry, and Keith each bring unique expertise to our team as we continue to cement ourselves as the leading enterprise automation platform.” 

Carle Quinn joins Workato as Chief People Officer where she’ll be responsible for all aspects of the human resources strategy, including talent management, leadership development, and compensation and benefits, as well as leading all human resources functions globally. She brings 20+ years of experience in human capital management where she has served in a number of increasingly senior business and executive HR leadership roles. Over the course of  her career, Quinn has gained global leadership experience in Human Resources and in Sales and Consulting at companies like SAP, GE, IBM, and most recently as Vice President of GTM Strategy & Customer Value at Citrix. With a particular passion for leveraging exceptional talent as a competitive strength to drive business performance and value, Quinn’s new role will be instrumental in leading and executing strategy centered around the heart of the company: Workato’s people.  

“Workato’s rapid growth creates a unique opportunity to lead teams through the next phase of  development, evolution and employee-led innovations,” said Quinn. “People are the heartbeat of  everything we do. Paired with a groundbreaking automation offering that helps shape the future  of work and is rehumanising it, Workato is uniquely positioned to change the way we connect on a global scale, which all starts with an internal, people-first approach. I am so excited to get the opportunity to work alongside the executive team and Vijay on scaling the dynamic Workato culture as global growth continues to be a priority. Like many of the Workato team members, my multi-faceted background serves as a reminder that we all bring a unique and storied  perspective to the table.”  

Kerry Moore joins Workato having previously held numerous senior leadership positions at  exemplary and disruptive technology companies, including UKG (merger between Ultimate  Software and Kronos), Entegris, Teledyne FLIR and ZoomInfo where she was integral in  building a robust talent acquisition pipeline that celebrated diversity and inclusion. Moore has  rich experience anchoring campus and emerging talent programs to attract employees from all  backgrounds to meet current and future business objectives, and is credited for her key role in  launching the first programs of this kind at UKG and Entegris. 

“In the two decades I’ve been in the business of people, the most gratifying experiences I’ve  had is building world-class talent acquisition programs that invite the most brilliant people in technology,” said Moore. “I have been impressed with Workato’s growth and dedication to  creating an inclusive work environment and look forward to constructing a strong program on  top of a strategically built foundation.” 

Keith Tyndall joins Workato as VP of Corporate and Brand Marketing, previously having led the  marketing team at Kareo, the cloud-based leader in EHR and patient engagement software. He managed the brand merger of Kareo with PatientPop in 2021 to later become Tebra. He has  previously held marketing leadership roles at ServiceTitan, BlackLine, and Cornerstone  OnDemand. Tyndall will drive Workato’s global brand marketing and corporate communications strategy across key areas, utilising his extensive expertise in high-growth SaaS technology  companies across strategic communications, investor relations, product marketing, and brand strategy.  

“I’ve dedicated my career to marketing leadership roles in global enterprise organisations, and  am excited to leverage my knowledge and experience at a company as disruptive as Workato,” said Tyndall. “Building a differentiated brand strategy that highlights the value and impact Workato delivers to its customers is an important focus as the company grows. I’m thrilled to  lead the team at such an important stage.” 

Workato has also made additional key leadership hires in the last year including former VP Analyst at Gartner, Massimo Pezzini as Head of Research, Future of the Enterprise and Gaby Moran as Director of Customer Experience.