SINGAPORE: Thinking of asking your boss to let you work from home or start work later? From December, your manager will have to consider your request and get back to you within two months.

That is when mandatory guidelines on flexible work arrangements will take effect. It does not mean you will definitely get more work-from-home days or get to sleep in on weekdays, but companies will need to have a process in place for their staff to make such requests.

If the company rejects your request, it needs to be based on business needs rather than a manager’s preferences. Employers who wilfully refuse to comply with the guidelines may be issued a warning or sent for corrective workshops.

Not all requests are automatically covered by the guidelines, so here is how you should formally request a flexible work arrangement.


You should put the request in writing and follow the requirements set out by your company, such as using an HR portal or other formal channels.

Send a text message or an email that includes details such as:

  • The type of flexible work arrangement you want to have, such as working away from the office, for fewer hours, or taking on a smaller workload
  • Why you want to have a flexible work arrangement
  • How often the arrangement will be in place, whether it is daily, weekly or monthly
  • The start and end date of the flexi-work arrangement

If the request does not have these details, it is not a formal request and is not covered by the guidelines.

That said, many bosses and workers already discuss how their working arrangements can be adjusted as needed. Such practices should continue if they work well.


Here is an example of how to ask for a flexible work arrangement:

“I would like to request to change my daily work hours from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, to Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm, so that I can send my five-year-old son to school in the morning.

“I request for this arrangement to begin on Jan 1, 2025 and end on Dec 31, 2025.”

The employee is asking for a flexi-time arrangement to accommodate caregiving responsibilities.

More people in Singapore need to care for young children or seniors and flexible work arrangements will allow these caregivers to continue to work if they wish to, Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said.


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