RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Public service organisations evolved ways of working in the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis with speed and responsiveness.
  • Now it is time to build on these successes for the longer term—transforming ways of working while balancing productivity and safety.
  • There are four interconnected areas that agencies should focus on in changing how they deliver services—and to outmanoeuvre future uncertainty.
  • This fundamental transformation is not a one-time exercise. It is an ongoing process of discovery, blueprinting and transformation.


Striking a delicate balance

In response to COVID-19, public service organisations had to rapidly change ways of working. This was essential to keep the extraordinary work of government going at an extraordinary time. Now agencies can take action to sustain positive change. This change can benefit the workforce and the citizens and businesses that rely on government services.

Successfully transforming ways of working means balancing productivity and safety. The extent of the challenge here depends on the role itself. Remote work will continue for back-office roles. But it could raise data privacy, security and productivity issues, as well as putting a strain on mental health. Public-facing roles will contend with another set of concerns. The silver lining is that even though various role-based challenges exist, this is an unprecedented moment to fundamentally change how public services will work in the future.

Public service agencies have an opportunity to use the pandemic as a springboard to meaningful change in how they deliver services.

Start building the future. Now.

There are four interconnected areas that can help drive change. These areas build on and reinforce each other. They are grounded in data, analytics and technology and should be executed with a “truly human” focus. With new capabilities across people, organisation, culture and leadership, agencies can create a more resilient workforce and deliver improved citizen services.

Build digital “contact-light” services

Make digital services smarter by using machine-learning algorithms to create predictive services, provided through citizens’ channels of choice.

Empower a distributed workforce

Prepare for continued remote work by providing employees with tools they need to be successful and checking on their wellbeing.

Unleash human + machine collaboration

Assess how to share tasks between humans and machines while building employee and citizen trust.

Become an ecosystem orchestrator

Strengthen ecosystem collaboration with data-sharing platforms as well as building new partnerships to work together toward common outcomes.

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A foundation for the never normal

By committing to a virtuous circle of discovery, blueprinting and transformation, agencies can elevate both workforce and service experiences. It’s all about being agile and adaptive. That’s how agencies become more resilient for the challenges and opportunities ahead. And how they outmanoeuvre uncertainty.

Himanshu Tambe

Talent, Organisation & Human Potential Lead – Southeast Asia


Rainer Binder

Managing Director – Public Service, Social Services Lead

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Get the essentials

Agencies changed ways of working out of necessity because of COVID-19. Now it’s time to build on these successes to transform the workforce’s day-to-day experience and how services are delivered to citizens.

The big read

10 minute read

Protecting people. Powering productivity.

Adapting ways of working in public service to outmanoeuvre uncertainty

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At a glance

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Transforming ways of working across 4 key areas

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