SINGAPORE: The People at Work 2023 study from ADP Research Institute shines a light on workers’ attitudes, aspirations, wants, and needs all over the world, including Singapore’s employees.

The study, which covered over 32,000 workers in 17 countries is one of the biggest surveys all over the globe.

Here’s the first important takeaway: “For workers in Singapore, this much is crystal clear: flexible working arrangements are imperative. One in three Singaporean workers expects four-day work weeks to become the norm within the next five years.”

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As for the challenges that Singapore workers face, stress and mental health issues are high on the list, with employees saying that compared to last year, they receive even less support from their managers.

A considerable number of employees, 24 per cent, also said they have a poor relationship with their manager. In comparison, the average in Asia Pacific is 11 per cent.

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Also, nearly half of Singapore workers (48 per cent) perceive their managers to be poorly equipped to talk about mental health matters with no judgment, the study says.

“These findings show employers in Singapore need to explore ways to improve employee-manager relationships and better equip managers to help their team members manage stress and engage in open conversations about mental wellbeing,” it adds.

When it comes to employees’ priorities, salary took first place by a wide margin (69 per cent), followed by flexibility of hours (39 per cent), increasing by 10 and 12 per cent respectively from last year. Interestingly, career progression as a top priority has declined by 11 per cent.

Singaporean employees noted that they’re getting appreciated more, with 62 per cent saying they’re being noticed and recognized for their contributions, compared to 51 per cent in the previous year.

Nearly a third of Singapore workers (31 per cent) also noted an improvement in gender pay equality over the past three years, an improvement of 5 per cent.

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“Among other measures, Singaporean employers are increasingly focused on being more flexible with time to promote positive mental health at work,” the report noted, with 21 per cent of respondents saying their boss now offers a four-day workweek. Nearly as many (18 per cent) said that their employers promote the right to disconnect from messages after working hours, and 22 per cent say their bosses provide stress management breaks.

Notably, more have also said they feel more empowered to take advantage of flexible working arrangements. Indeed, flexibility with work has emerged as one of the post-pandemic trends, with 10 per cent of workers saying they would take a pay cut in exchange for a reduced work week.

Aside from a four-day work week, workers expressed that they’d want hybrid work arrangements (34 per cent), full flexibility of hours based on productivity and results metrics (32 per cent), and the possibility of working from anywhere around the globe (29 per cent). As for their other expectations in the coming years, many look forward to added time off. /TISG

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Read also: Singapore’s 4-day work week may not be for everyone