Workers Back In The Office Full-time

Nearly 50% Of Singapore Workers Back In The Office Full-time

SINGAPORE – Some employers here, including large companies like Twitter and Goldman Sachs, have rolled back flexible work arrangements by asking their employees to return to the office for most, if not all, of the work week, reported The Straits Times on Monday morning (28 November, SGT).

In fact, a research by UOB in June showed that almost 50 percent of the over 1,000 Singapore employees it surveyed had resumed working in the office 5 days per week, even though about 80 percent of them want some type of flexible work setup.

“Since the stabilisation of the pandemic, more companies in Singapore have begun to ask their employees to return to full- or near full-time office work,” said recruitment company Hays Singapore’s Regional Director, Kirsty Hulston.

Dr Rashimah Rajah, an instructor at the National University of Singapore Business School, said that getting staff back at the office enhances the onboarding experience for new recruits and helps them to relate more with the company’s culture.

“Roles that require more high-quality communication with other stakeholders such as employees and clients, like (roles) in human resources, sales and consulting, would benefit from working in office,” she added.

Moreover, economic challenges have also tempered employer optimism regarding flexible work, with 80 percent of surveyed executives in Singapore saying that the economic situation could compel them to pull back flexi-work arrangements and other staff perks, according to a study published by LinkedIn in November.

In that survey, more than 33 percent of the polled executives are looking to reduce budgets for employee learning and development, as well as trim down hybrid working roles.

Still, flexible work arrangements will likely persist in Singapore, amidst the tight labour market with companies jostling to lure and retain talent, noted Tan Hwee Hoon, Associate Professor at Singapore Management University.

“Until and unless the job market becomes an employers’ market again, flexi-work is the norm,” she added.

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