Many families welcomed employers’ efforts in fostering a pro-family workplace, especially on 31 August 2017 to kick start the inaugural My Family Weekend which coincided with Teachers' Day and a day off from school and pre-school for children. Various companies, big and small, held family-friendly initiatives that day.

'Bring Your Family/Kids To Work' Day

At advertising firm DDB Asia, Singapore, 19 families, including 25 children, bonded over activities and food over the half-day event. “This is a good and fun initiative to let our staff’s young children experience and learn more about what their parents do at work, and hopefully appreciate their parents better,” said Ms Jolene Quek, Marketing Director of DDB Singapore & Asia. “It also reassures staff that the agency cares about their families’ needs.” Besides providing the platform for families to bond, DDB Singapore believes that such events also allow employees to see a different side of their co-workers and bosses and helps to foster stronger bonds among the employees.

At Sakae Holdings, employees and their families had an enjoyable day, especially for the children who received goodie bags and had fun interacting with one another over games. Local hospitality company, Sun and Earth Pte Ltd, which manages D’Kranji Farm Resort, took the effort to plan a farm tour, prawn fishing, and a plant potting workshop at their premises for employees to bond with their families. It was the first time the company organised such an event in celebration of family time. Children of Banyan Tree employees were also treated to a full day of activities including a movie screening and a handicraft workshop.

My Family Weekend DDB Asia   My Family Weekend OCBC Kranji
Bring Your Family to Work Day organised by DDB Asia, Singapore (left) OCBC and D’Kranji Farm Resort (right) for its employees on 31 August 2017

Flexible Work Arrangements

Another popular family-friendly initiative was flexible work arrangements. As part of the bank’s “My Flexi Hour” initiative which was brought forward by a day to coincide with My Family Weekend, staff at OCBC Bank left work earlier at 4pm on 31 August. The move was applauded by employees, especially for those who take a longer time to commute to and fro from home. “I live quite far from the office so it takes me about an hour to get home by train, but being able to leave work early will allow me to have enough time to cook a sumptuous dinner for my family,” said Ms Julia Foo, Vice President of OCBC's Group Corporate Banking department.

At DBS Bank and City Developments Limited, employees also had the opportunity to knock off early to have dinner with their families. The two companies offered an early release of 1 to 1.5 hours respectively from work to encourage staff to spend quality time bonding with their loved ones. Other companies such as KPMG Singapore also encouraged their employees to work with their teams to determine their preferred working arrangements on that day - be it going in office later or leaving earlier to begin their Family Weekend.

There are also companies like Lions Befrienders Service Association, who support employees by offering flexible work schemes throughout the year. These schemes include telecommuting and part-time work arrangements which help employees set aside quality time with their families. “Family-friendly arrangements that we offer help us achieve a high level of engagement and motivation within the workforce, which creates a positive impact on the organisation,” says Michael Foo, Acting Executive Director of Lions Befrienders.

My Family Weekend OCBC Flexi Hour
Besides organising a Bring Your Family to Work Day, OCBC Bank had its “My Flexi Hour” initiative on 31 August to allow staff to leave office earlier to have meals with their families.

Show your support for My Family Weekend 2018

Work-life strategies not only help to improve employee satisfaction, they also contribute to the attraction and retention of talent. Do your part as an employer to put in place family-friendly workplace initiatives on 31 August to kick start the return of My Family Weekend! Be it having a Bring Your Family to Work Day or simply allowing staff to leave work earlier to have meals with their families, these initiatives can go a long way to building a supportive and pro-family working environment.

We are also happy to support organisations that are planning for a Bring Your Family to Work Day in support of My Family Weekend with our FAMILY 365 programme to have complimentary family-life education workshop as part of the day’s activities. For more details on FAMILY 365, please visit here.