Singapore—A new study has shown that almost two-thirds of Singaporean employers are planning on continuing with flexible working arrangements even after the coronavirus pandemic.
The study was conducted by RGF International Recruitment.
At present, ninety-five per cent of all local businesses are using either partial or fully flexible work arrangements. These arrangements have not resulted in a big decrease in productivity. According to the RGF study, fifty-four per cent of employers say their workers are performing between fifty to ninety-nine per cent of their usual levels of productivity.
Sixty-five per cent of employers in Singapore say they consider flexible work arrangements as vital to work-life balance. But work-life balance may not be very important to Singaporeans, who say that career advancement opportunities and salary considerations are their top two priorities when looking at job choices.
According to James Miles, the Managing Director RGF International Recruitment – Singapore, “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. However, our data shows that employee and employer expectations are mostly aligned across the factors that matter most when talent are searching for jobs, which is a positive thing for hiring amidst uncertain times.”
“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,” he added.
“More than anything, employers need to be agile to meet these needs, while also realigning internally on various policies and programmes that will keep talent engaged and motivated.”
The study also showed that business-owners have more and more accepted the necessity to future-proof their workforce, through the following means:
-providing more frequent and clear communication on business strategy (68 per cent)
-investing in internal and external training (41 per cent)
-investing in the right technologies (35 per cent)
In terms of advancing one’s career, there are some differences among the generations of Singapore’s workforce. For Baby Boomers and Generation X, their top three priorities are talent, management and leadership style (42 per cent), career advancement (37 per cent) and salary (36 per cent).
For younger Singaporeans, those who are Millennials and who belong to Generation Z, the top priorities are career opportunities (50 per cent) and salary and compensation (48 per cent).
Interestingly, almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of Singaporean employees wish to have help from their employers when it comes to planning out career progression. Meanwhile, roughly two-fifths (41 per cent) say they want training programmes to help them upskill faster.
A significant percentage (35 per cent) also indicated a desire for opportunities for overseas employment.
As for changing jobs, according to 64 per cent of professionals, their top reason for doing so would be better salaries. Additionally, 76 per cent of workers say they consider performance-based bonuses to be a vital factor in compensation packages.
On the side of the employers’ biggest challenges this year, as 44 percent chose smaller hiring budgets at the top of their lists, which comes as no surprise, given the economic climate due to the pandemic. Building a stronger employer brand (41 per cent) and building a more capable HR/talent acquisition team (32 per cent) rounded out the top three challenges of employers for 2020. —/TISG
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