To retain and attract top talent in Singapore, employers will need to offer more than traditional inducements such as competitive salaries and linear career paths. Workers are increasingly looking to “design” the perfect balance between their personal and professional lives.
The latest Kelly Services survey found that work-life balance is highly valued in the Asia-Pacific region, with 77% of workers citing it as an important consideration in deciding where to work. In Singapore, workers nominated different elements that they considered important to achieve work-life balance.
Key findings include flexible work schedules and arrangements such as working remotely or telecommuting (70%), limitations on working outside typical business hours (51%), wellness programmes such as on-site fitness centers, health club memberships, and stress-reduction programmes (41%) and a fostered environment of friendships in the workplace (36%).
Additionally, workplace flexibility is also no longer a gender issue. What was once driven by women juggling their family and careers is now a priority for both women (74%) and men (67%) in Singapore who want a job that fits in with their own personal needs.
“The talent workforce in Asia-Pacific is increasingly demanding work-life balance in their professional lives with flexible work arrangements as top of their wish list. Now more than ever, companies operating in Asia-Pacific need to keep up with innovative global practices to provide greater flexibility in the workplace, in order stay relevant in the competitive global fight for talent,” said Natalia Shuman, Senior Vice President and General Manager – EMEA and APAC regions of Kelly Services.
“Given Singapore’s current tight labour market, businesses need to breakdown traditional mindsets and place more value in designing schemes to allow workplace flexibility, which has become a non-negotiable criteria for talent in Singapore,” said FOO See Yang, Vice President and Country General Manager of Kelly Services, Singapore.
Foo continued, “We already see the Government taking steps through the new Committee on the Future Economy’s Future Jobs and Skills sub-committee. Key to this would be shifting-gear to take a bottom-up and consultative approach in identifying the ever-changing needs, interest and aspirations of the Singapore workforce, with the end objective of enabling greater autonomy for Singaporeans to “design” their own perfect balance between their personal and professional lives.”
Kelly Services identified a growing movement within the workforce – Work-Life Design. It is a proactive approach to striking the perfect balance between professional and personal life initiated by the talent rather than the organisation. Work-Life Design takes a more holistic approach with companies setting the intention of working with an employee to “design” a more personalized workplace.
Based on the findings from the KGWI survey, employers in Singapore will need to show their employees how they can help them thrive both professionally and personally to remain competitive in attracting the best talent.
Employers should consider the following to foster a Work-Life Design mindset: make flexibility the norm, encourage downtime, ensure the work is meaningful, help keep skills current, create a culture and brand to be proud of and provide lifestyle support options.
These findings are published in a new report from Kelly Services titled, ‘Work-Life Design, The New Balance.