My Work-Life Experience
Dr Ung is a medical professional working in one of the largest hospitals in Singapore, and also served on the Citizen’s Panel on Work-Life Harmony in 2019. As a working individual striving to balance his career aspirations with personal well-being, identifying strategies to attain personal work-life effectiveness has been a key priority for Dr Ung.
One of the primary solutions that he strongly advocates is utilising FWAs to manage one’s time well. As a medical doctor, he has worked part-time for the past 6 years to achieve personal work-life effectiveness. However, this step towards flexible working was not taken lightly, and he recommends some important considerations for anyone planning to embark on an FWA.
Dr Ung shares that to successfully work away from the traditional office, or outside of the usual work hours, there needs to be strong trust and communication between both employer and employee. In his own experience, showing that he was engaged and productive at work as a full-time employee made it possible to raise the request for a part-time work arrangement.
“When employees can demonstrate that they add value to the organisation, and are committed to work goals, employers may be more open to alternative work arrangements”
Dr Ung also recommends that employees ask themselves why they want the added flexibility. Having clarity on their reasons and having a ready proposal rather than just a request, ensures that they are in a good position to advocate for themselves. He also highlights that the proposal one makes to the employer should consider the impact on the rest of the team and their colleagues as well. This signals that the employee has evaluated the options carefully and is committed to embark on the FWA responsibly.
Dr Ung believes that having the autonomy to work flexibly helps individuals develop the discipline of time management – adding more value to the organisation in the long haul. He holds up his own success story as an example of this.
In addition to the improvements in overall personal wellness as a result of his part-time work arrangement, Dr Ung has also gained “additional mind space” to work on solutions to common problems he has encountered in the course of his work. He is currently working on a project to improve the efficiency of the patient management processes at the hospital where he works. While this began as a personal interest project, his employer has recognised its feasibility and value, and has invested in it.
Dr. Ung’s overall work-life philosophy is that work is an integral component of life, but individuals need to regularly evaluate and take steps to ensure that it is in harmony with the other aspects of their lives – providing them with satisfaction, not just in their career, but life as a whole.