Singapore Firms Ready to Embrace Flexible Work and Plan Organisation Redesign: Study

May 4, 20189:53 am
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Flexible work is on the rise, as more and more companies in the Lion City are ready to adapt the practice and allow their employees to manage their own work arrangements. According to 2018 Global Talent Trends Study conducted by Mercer, almost all companies (96 percent) are already planning to implement organisation redesign in the next two years in order to adapt to such change.

Along with the change, however, nearly half employees surveyed (48 percent) worry that flexi work will affect their job promotions. The report also found that only a small 3 percent HR leaders said that flexibility is visibly present in their organisation, despite 82 percent executives said that it is core to their Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

Flexi work is increasingly seen as a core part of EVP, as younger generation of workers think about their careers in a different way. As they tend to seek purpose over presence at work, employers need to cater this need by providing permanent flexibility in the workplace so they will not lose potential talents, Singapore Business Review reports.

Regarding this finding, Vidisha Mehta, career solutions leader for South and East Asia, IMETA at Mercer commented, “Given the ageing population in Singapore, ensuring a diverse talent pool in the workforce for all life stages is both a business and a societal imperative. Introducing permanent flexibility in workplaces is challenging for organisations in traditional industries such as manufacturing, as it involves offering flexible working hours and contract workforces to project-based freelance staff. Options also include borrowing talent from related sectors, clients and vendors, as well as crowdsourcing options.”

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Meanwhile, employers are working to boost agility into their business model while creating flatter and more networked structures in order to face disruption in the next few years. About one in three employers (37 percent) are forming more holacratic work teams. However, HR leaders feel less prepared to reskill their existing employees (60 percent are confident they can do this well) than to hire from the outside (69 percent). Additionally, only 38 percent companies are increasing access to online learning courses for their employees and the same number are actively rotating talent within the organisation.

In the report, Mercer emphasised that employees are craving movement, learning, and experimentation to find purpose. While more than half (57 percent) Singaporean staff said they were satisfied in their current job, they still plan to leave due to a lack of career opportunity.

Related to this, the report revealed that companies in Singapore lag on delivering a consumer-grade experience, as only 2 percent consider themselves as digital organisation today, compared to an average of 15 percent worldwide. While 59 percent employees admitted that state-of-the-art tools are important for success, less than half (41 percent) said they have the digital tools necessary to do their job and only 38 percent have digital interactions with HR.

“Business leaders are confident in HR’s ability to be a strategic partner in setting the course for the future, with 69% of executives reporting that HR aligns people strategy with the strategic priorities of the business,” Mercer added.

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