Singapore employees prefer work from home

80% Of Singapore Employees Prefer To Work From Home

SINGAPORE – A recent study conducted on behalf of The Straits Times shows that an overwhelming majority or 80 percent of workers here want to work from home or have a flexible work set-up, reported the news website on Monday (12 October).

On the other hand, only 10 percent wish to return to their workplace full-time, while the remaining 10 percent said they were already back to working in their office before the authorities permitted more employees to return to the workplace since 28 September.

But the foremost complaint among employees in the city-state about returning to the office is carrying on with their daily commute. They are also worried about being exposed to COVID-19 and the safety of their workplace.

Queried about their biggest challenge of returning to their office, the most common words and phrases in their answers were “mask”, “public transport”, and “many people”, with 30 percent of the respondents saying that wearing a mask at the workplace was distracting and uncomfortable.

Asked what work set-up they like, 40 percent of those surveyed are okay with splitting their time between their home and office, whereas those who wanted to exclusively work from home was slightly higher than that figure.

Singapore University of Social Sciences’ lecturer Dr Brandon Koh commented that workers may need some time to adjust in their return to the workplace, which could also lead to a loss of autonomy for employees.

“Whether working from the office is more productive will vary depending on the job and individual, and employers should balance this consideration with employees’ desire for autonomy and its benefits.”

Moreover, the poll asked workers about their leading complaint on working from home. Many were annoyed by the longer work hours, or doing work outside of typical work hours.

Some found it hard to focus while working from home as they were distracted by children or family members, while others revealed that it was hard to persuade their bosses of their work productivity.

Slightly less than 50 percent of those polled said the work from home set-up helped them reduce costs, while 70 percent said it enhanced their mental health. However, around 50 percent believe they would be punished by their manager if they expressed their want to work from home.

The study was carried out by crowdsourcing platform OPPi, and involved 1,772 workers. In particular, 90 percent of those polled were between the age of 18 and 54. 20 percent work for government agencies, while 68 percent are in the private sector. The rest work for other entities like non-profits or voluntary welfare groups.

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