Quarterly E-Newsletter July 2020

A Message from the Managing Partner

Mr Helmi Talib, Managing Partner of the Helmi Talib Group

The world is going through unprecedented times of rapid change. With changes taking place every day around us as a result the covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial to stay connected and adapt to the evolving situation as they arise. With a strong team of experts who are committed to delivering corporate services, I believe we have been able to keep up our promises with our business partners.

The Helmi Talib Group has been pro-actively evaluating the developments and focused on implementing measures that ensured business continuity while sticking to the Singapore Government’s guidelines. We continue to seek innovative solutions including the use of extensive digital systems being put in place to aid our operations and ensure the delivery of services that meet the needs of our clients.

In addition to encouraging the use of TraceTogether and SafeEntry Apps to assist in contract tracing, the Helmi Talib Group has initiated constant upgrades of digital systems including online collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 for business and VPN systems to keep up with changing needs and consumers demands. Enhancing employee skills using online training platforms such as LinkedIn Learning to get them prepared and accustomed to the new normal has also been a priority.

With regular communication and virtual team building activities, we have also worked towards improving the wellbeing and health of our employees. I also realize that during this time, it is important to stand together and remain vigilant. While Phase 2 of the post circuit breaker measures have been introduced, our office will continue to operate with limited staffing until further updates. In this way we hope to do our part in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus and assisting in a quick return to normalcy.

I wish everyone good health and thank you for your cooperation as we continue to improve and enhance our capabilities.

Working From Home: Our Experience

As Singapore introduced its “circuit breaker” measures that saw most businesses and other recreational services suspending their operations, the Helmi Talib Group adapted to the new situation and made the best possible use of it to ensure the continuity of our business services to serve our clients needs.

As we share our experience of working from home, the Helmi Talib Group worked hard to ensure that our team and clients remained engaged and updated during his transient time.

In addition, our January babies got to celebrate their birthdays with pomp and splendour along with the whole team.

We thank the team for their cooperation and commitment in ensuring the deliverance of service excellence despite the challenges they may have faced!

Birthday Celebrations: The Digital Way 
Celebrating our birthday babies’ special day!
Despite working from home, the Helmi Talib Group celebrated our birthday babies the digital way! Team members joined in on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to wish them, with the additional surprise of having some delicious sweets and treats being delivered to them on their special day.

Staying Connected  
With majority of our employees working from home, the Helmi Talib Group made it a priority to keep in touch with our fellow team members and engage them in exciting games and quizes.


How to Expertly Handle Return-to-Work for Employees Post-Pandemic 

Celebrating International Women’s Day!

Historically, the biggest changes in society tend to occur after a major disruption. As humans, we become comfortable with a certain way of doing things, and when individuals suggest dramatic change, their ideas are perceived as fringe.

However, when an upheaval occurs – a world war, a financial crisis or a pandemic – those same ideas quickly become mainstream and sensible, rather than radical.

There is a good chance that major change could occur in offices over the next few months, says Rhonda Brighton-Hall, HR thought leader and founder and director of mwah (making working absolutely human).

If this change does occur, she says, it is not a moment too soon.

“We designed the way we’ve been working in the 1860s,” says Brighton-Hall, a Telstra Businesswoman of the Year national award winner and former director of the Australian HR Institute.

“Working an eight-hour day, five days a week, and accepting that everybody must fit into this model has been crazy for a long time. Along the way, everything in the entire world changed, but the strict rules around how we work never did.

“It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not how we work best. It’s not how we think best. It’s not how we contribute best. We lost the essence of what work is, and instead got stuck in a ritual of what work should look like. It hasn’t worked for a long time, and I’m glad we’ve now been forced to look at other options.”

Those other, post-pandemic options have begun to be expressed in various announcements, such as news from social media giant Twitter and from mobile payments company Square (both share the same CEO) that all employees will now be able to choose to work from home, permanently.
It’s not just tech firms that are joining the remote working revolution. Such options are also being explored by leaders within numerous other types of businesses as they survey their staff about their return.

“There have been many moments in time throughout history where things have changed and we’ve learnt great lessons,” Brighton-Hall says. “Some of those lessons are about what doesn’t work. At mwah, we’ve been talking about the ‘curated workplace’. What do we want to keep doing? What do we want to stop doing? What are the new things we want to introduce from the lessons we just learned? What are we still missing, and what have we still got to learn?”

In fact, asking such questions to all staff individually, and listening deeply to their responses, is one of the most vital ingredients in the recipe for success, experts say. Nobody yet knows the best solution for their business in facing return-to-work challenges. Yet once leaders ask their staff, they’ll have a lot better data to use to move forward.

There is no template 

David Smith FCPA, founder of Smithink, member of several boards and consultant to professional services firms, has been deeply involved in discussions about how to manage the post-COVID return to work.

The most important fact to accept upfront, he says, is that there is no template. This is one of the rare problems in business that will not have a shared solution across any two companies. The solution instead depends on location, industry, the mix of individuals, the personal situations of every one of those individuals, office size and floor space, where in a building the office is located, and much, much more.

“A lot of firms are now talking about what they’re going to do,” Smith says. “They’re asking how they are going to start bringing people back into the office. As part of that discussion, they also need to figure out how we deal with people who say they don’t want to return, because they’re quite happy and feel safer working from home.

“It does really depend heavily on the individual circumstance of each staff member. If they have spent the past month or two trying to work at home, and they have young, school-aged kids, it might have been a nightmare, and they might be desperate to come back to the office. Others might miss the social interaction or the collaboration. You really do have to establish the individual circumstance of each person before developing a solution.”

“The most important fact to accept upfront is that there is no template. This is one of the rare problems in business that will not have a shared solution across any two companies.” David Smith FCPA, founder, Smithink

Such intelligence-gathering requires surveys and individual conversations, some of it by well-briefed line managers. However, that’s not the only ingredient required for success.

That information, Smith says, must be combined with the organisation’s requirements. For example, a business that manages vital infrastructure and that therefore can’t afford for several of its staff to be knocked down by a disease at the same time, might bring a “red team” and a “blue team” back to work on different days. That way, essential staff on each team never cross paths.A thorough, daily disinfection of all office surfaces further protects against contagion.

Does that solve all issues? Not even close, Smith says. What about teams who are far more productive when they are working together in the same area of an office, Smith asks.

How do you ensure they all return? What about individuals whose roles mean they should be fine to work from home, but who have proven to be unproductive outside the office environment? What if hot-desking, now an absolute no-no, was previously part of your work process, or you simply don’t have enough office space to ensure social distancing, or some staff are in high-risk groups? The potential complications are enormous.

When EY surveyed more than 6000 of its staff, it discovered that 43 per cent were comfortable to return to the office, but happy to wait. Another 20 per cent wanted to keep working from home, and 11 per cent wanted to return to the office as quickly as possible. The company has cancelled hot-desking and has asked those returning to work to book a specific desk during a trial period, which will see support staff and about 11 per cent of professionals coming back to the office.

It is this type of workforce research and testing that Smith recommends. With so many variables, research is the only way to develop a strategy that suits the very specific environment within a business’s workplace.

The virus that ate office space 

One fascinating likely outcome from the COVID-19 crisis is the new use of office space, as well as the broad development of home office space. This is likely to have a long-term effect on values of commercial property and the design of residential property, believes Bernadette Smith CPA, Aspen Corporate partner.

“When I came into the industry, I set up a home office. I got a fax machine, a photocopier, a computer, etc.,” she says. “During this COVID-19 experience, I’ve been amazed by how many people didn’t have offices set up at home. But guess what? Now they do.

“Now, commercial space is changing. Offices will get smaller because people will be working from home a lot more often. The design and value of commercial space is being challenged.

“Residential design is changing, too. Houses and apartments will require designated offices, or office spaces. I can see that rolling out across residential. The next challenge will be data security from home, which is vital in our industry and in many others.”

InTheBlack.com Article: How to expertly handle return-to-work for employees post-pandemic
Published: 1st July 2020
Source: https://www.intheblack.com/


WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomed Ella Dominique Gamilla to our team as Accounts and Payroll Associate.

A highly motivated individual, Dominique strives for holistic wellness by engaging in spiritual growth, physical fitness, and emotional well-being.
Here are some fun facts about our new recruit:

  • Favorite place visited: “Sagada, Mountain Province in the Philippines. I am the type of person who enjoys the company of the people I am travelling with more than the place itself”
  • Favorite pass time: “Spending time with family and friends, running at least 5 Km per week and reading nonfiction books.”
  • Coffee or Tea: “One coffee per day would be the way to go for me.”
  • Most-used Productivity hack: Making a to-do list for the month, breaking it down to small actionable items for the week, then ultimately, focus on my day-to-day to-do list as aligned.

Dominique looks forward to working alongside our diverse team of professionals, as well as learning new systems and accounting standards.

We welcome you Dominique!

WELCOME: The Helmi Talib Group welcomes Keerthika Mohan to join our Human Resource team as Executive Assistant.

Keerthika is friendly and outgoing by nature. She is also keen to meet new people and build connections around her. We wish her journey with the Helmi Talib Group to be fruitful and fulfilling!

Here are some fun facts about our new recruit:

  • Favourite place visited: “Scotland – The Isle of Skye. Google it and you will know what I mean.”
  • Favourite pastime: “I am a foodie. So, my weekends are spent exploring new food outlets in the city along with friends & family. If not, I would be heading to the park and indulge in fitness activities with my 4-legged friend, a Singapore Special dog.”
  • Coffee or Tea: “Can I say both? But if I must choose one which I will have to drink all my life, it will have to be coffee.”
  • Most-used productivity hack: “Having a new planner/desktop fan/stationery. This just gives me the extra boost to function well during work.”

We welcome you Keerthika!

PROMOTIONS & TRANSFERS: We are pleased to announce the following new promotions and transfers at the Helmi Talib Group effective from 1 July 2020.


  • Sabrina Cham – Audit Assistant Manager
  • Alex Chong – Audit Senior I
  • Benson Chu- Audit Associate II
  • Mohammed Khusaini Bin Jais – Audit Associate II
  • Amanina Binti Syed Osman – Senior II Corporate Secretarial Executive


  • Gem Paula Florentino – Client Relationship Executive

Stayed tuned to our social media platforms for full features!