February 28, 2024

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Employee Experience: Reimagining the Future of Workplace and Collaboration Amid COVID-19

As lockdowns are gradually lifted across the world, a key challenge in terms of workplace safety and optimum productivity is coming to the fore for management and human resources. Companies need to deliver an effective and successful ‘re-entry strategy’ for their businesses as well as their employees using the right tools and resources.

Physical spaces and workplace dynamics are being re-thought, re-shaped, and re-designed to accommodate changing talent and business aspirations as well as the change in location of work. Although the workplace had already begun to transform before COVID-19, the pandemic has accelerated the process that would otherwise have taken years to complete.

As businesses begin to recover across industries, there is greater awareness of the need to become more agile in the workplace. Corporates are becoming more flexible and accommodating to the needs of the workforce in the new normal with many companies continuing to prioritise business continuity.

OpenGov Asia had the opportunity to speak exclusively to Malcolm Koh, Director of CX Practice, Global Customer Engagement, Zendesk, a customer service software company with support and sales products designed to improve customer relationships. As their “Customer in Residence”, Malcolm has deep expertise in both operational and strategic elements of customer service delivery with over 20 years of experience spanning 8 industries.

For over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many businesses and industries. Some are more severe than others. Some were able to expand their businesses, while others had to make strategic, even drastic, cuts. One common factor though, was that almost everyone needed to retreat to their homes because of the lockdowns and remote work recommendations all over the world.

Even though this was a significant change in the daily lives of the majority of the workforce, for some, it made little difference because they were already working remotely. As a result of the global pandemic, businesses have been forced to make drastic changes to the workplace, causing complete disruption to the employee experience.

Malcolm acknowledges that employee experience has changed over the past 18 months just as how customer experience has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, indeed, these continue to evolve and rise. He believes that “employees are customers too” and that the key to a great experience lies in flexibility and collaboration – even more so now as companies have moved to hybrid models of operation.

Digital transformation is about using technology to change the way work is done, how employees interact, and how the workplace is structured, not just using new or more technology. Malcolm notes that as governments explore the use of apps and user interface design to improve citizens’ access to public services, the same should be done within their agencies to help employees easily access knowledge, tools, and support as they go about their work.

Without a doubt, Malcolm emphasised that having an employee-first mindset would greatly benefit any organisation. This means listening, asking for and responding to their feedback.

Organisations are solidifying their hybrid and remote work arrangements as they ease into new post-pandemic ways of working. It is therefore critical for government agencies to ensure that employees have access to tools, information, and people they need to stay connected and be productive.

Malcolm firmly believes that the future of employee experience will be hybrid. Improving uptime has real benefit and perception to employees is also possible with SaaS and cloud-based solutions and ones with a large marketplace like Zendesk. He shares that implementing these digital solutions would be efficient, given that almost everything was already online before the pandemic began, and that digital platforms are now the most important tool in hybrid working.

Ensuring that employee experience is a priority for businesses, just as customer experience is. An organisation’s approach and attitude to both these experiences will define the type of employer they are, impacting employee loyalty, motivation, and overall employee and customer satisfaction.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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