DBS adopts distributed, flexible work regime amid pandemic

DBS will be implementing a series of transformation initiatives to realise new ways of working in the next normal, following insights gathered from research, experiments and surveys conducted by a Future of Work Taskforce that the bank convened six months ago. 

First, all employees will be given the flexibility to work remotely up to 40% of the time. The taskforce found that over four in every five of the bank’s 29,000-strong workforce are able to work seamlessly remotely. 

Close to 3,000 employees in Singapore indicated that while they are still productive while working remotely, staying engaged and connected with colleagues was challenging. As such, they prefer hybrid work arrangements over a pure “remote work” or “work in office” approach.

Second, the bank will be implementing a formal job-sharing scheme to better support employees who need more flexible work arrangements. The scheme will enable two employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time role. 

Employees on this scheme will retain all existing medical benefits in full and continue to be covered under the bank’s insurance plans. At the same time, the bank will also introduce more part-time work arrangements.

Third, DBS will accelerate its transition to operating models characterised not by conventional functional departments, but by project-specific data-driven squads formed with members from different functions and relevant areas of expertise. 

While agile squads are already commonplace in some parts of the bank, primarily in the technology space, this approach will now be extended at scale to other parts of the bank. 

Fourth, DBS will be doubling down on its efforts to upskill and reskill over 7,200 employees including 4,300 in Singapore.  Employees will be trained in emerging areas such as design thinking, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and agile practices. 

And fifth, building on its experience in developing “JoySpaces,” or activity-based workspaces since 2016, DBS will further reconfigure its workspaces to enable greater collaboration and ideation. 

The bank will also be launching a 5,000-square foot “Living Lab” that aims to blend the best of physical and virtual work space configurations.

“By implementing these measures, we believe that Team DBS will emerge as a confident future-ready workforce,” DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said.