Flexible Work Arrangement

Flexible Work Set-Up To Persists Post-COVID-19

SINGAPORE -Even after the COVID0-19 outbreak has been surmounted, the majority of employers in Singapore still intend to adopt flexible work arrangements, reported The Independent (TISG) on Friday (25 September).

According to a new research carried out by RGF International Recruitment, 95 percent of all domestic businesses are currently allowing their employees to work from home fully or partially, with no perceived major decline in their productivity. In fact, 54 percent of surveyed employers said the output of their staff on flexible work arrangements is equivalent to 50 percent to 99 percent of their typical levels of productivity.

In addition, 65 percent of employers here deem such arrangements important to their work-life balance. However, work-life balance is not among the top priorities of Singapore workers when applying for jobs, as their top two considerations are salary and compensation, as well as career advancement opportunities.

Specifically, the top three factors for Baby Boomers and Generation X are salary, with 36 percent of the respondents saying so, followed by career advancement (37 percent), as well as talent, management and leadership style (42 percent).

For younger workers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z, the top considerations are salary (48 percent) and career opportunities (50 percent).

For those looking to switch to another employer, 64 percent said their reason for doing so is to secure higher income. Moreover, 76 percent of workers polled revealed that they consider performance-based bonuses as crucial when deciding whether to accept an employer’s compensation package.

Meanwhile, the most serious issue faced by employers in 2020 is their reduced hiring budgets, with 44 percent of local businesses saying so. This is not unexpected as the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Singapore’s economy. Another top concern is how to strengthen the firm’s image or reputation (41 percent), followed by establishing a more capable Human Resources (HR) department.

“COVID-19 has hit business sentiment hard, and with Singapore’s economy slipping into a technical recession last quarter, it is natural that employers are feeling cautious and concerned about hiring,” said RGF’s Managing Director in Singapore James Miles.

“The continuance of flexible working – which includes working from home, split teams, and flexible hours – will be a key consideration for hirers, as talent’s expectations surrounding this could differ and change alongside the pandemic.”

Consequently, companies must be agile to meet these requirements, but they must also implement policies and programmes that will keep their workers engaged and motivated, added Miles.

Furthermore, business owners have acknowledged the necessity to future-proof their workforce.
68 percent said they can achieve this by frequently and clearly communicating their business strategy. 41 percent will invest in internal and external training, while 35 percent said they will take advantage of the right technologies.

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