One thing the Covid-19 pandemic taught us well is that many of our jobs can be flexible and that working from home is not just a possibility but a workable reality.

And for the younger generation of workers in Singapore, this type of flexibility may just be non-negotiable.

Even as the situation normalizes and bosses are encouraging employees back into the swing of working from the office, workers aged 18 to 34 are saying “Maybe not” according to the results of the ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View, which was published on July 4.

In Singapore, over half of the young workers who participated in the study said they would contemplate leaving their jobs if they are asked to return full time.

Among workers between the ages of 55 and older, only 35 per cent of the respondents had the same sentiments. 

And yet, the percentage of Singapore’s younger workers who feel this way is lower than that of the rest of the world.

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Based on the survey conducted in 17 countries among 33,000 employees, 71 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old employees said they might look for another job should full-time work resume. 

Among 25 to 34-year-olds, 66 per cent held this sentiment.

For workers from the ages of 45 to 54, 56 per cent said they would do so.

The study pointed out that this sentiment may affect industries such as food and beverage and retail, which depend heavily on younger workers. 

As for industries such as construction, manufacturing, and food and beverage, it may not be possible to implement a flexible working system. 

“As lockdowns have eased in different countries, the question of whether workers can be compelled to return to the workplace full-time is a divisive topic. For many it could be a pivotal issue, potentially triggering a decision to leave,” Yahoo Singapore quotes Yvonne Teo, Vice President of HR, ADP, as saying. 

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She added, “It is worth investigating the willingness of workers to return to the office and balancing this with what would work best for the business. 

When workers return to the office, managers have important roles to make in-person collaborations meaningful to engage younger workers. This will help to build a more connected internal culture and enhance trust and loyalty between employers and staff.” /TISG

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