Eight in 10 Singapore Employees Feel Prepared to Work Remotely for The Long-Term but Have Productivity Concerns

December 16, 202011:32 am1324 views
Eight in 10 Singapore Employees Feel Prepared to Work Remotely for The Long-Term but Have Productivity Concerns
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Productivity equipment or tools, and best practices for remote working are the technology and human resources-related support that employees want most. 

Summary
  • Majority of surveyed employees (84 percent) in Singapore (Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ): 81 percent) feel they are prepared for long-term remote work  
  • However, employees are worried about blurring boundaries between work and personal lives in a long-term remote work arrangement
  • Only 39 percent in Singapore (APJ: 46 percent) feel that their employers fully support remote working for the long term  
  • The most in-demand technology resources that employees want are productivity equipment or tools, and remote access to internal company resources
  • Surveyed employees also want employers to provide best practices training for remote working, and virtual learning and development sessions

Dell Technologies today released new research revealing the readiness of Singapore employees for long-term remote work. In the inaugural Remote Work Readiness (RWR) Index, it was found that more than eight in 10 (84 percent) employees in Singapore (APJ: 81 percent) feel that they are prepared for long-term remote work but face ongoing productivity challenges.

Surveying over 7,000 working professionals aged 18 years and above from the Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) region (of which 1,030 were from Singapore), the RWR Index captured data on employees’ readiness for long-term remote work and their views on the factors important for its success.

The study revealed that the blurring boundary between work and personal lives was the most significant concern for employees, with 35 percent (APJ: 34 percent) citing it as a top worry should remote work arrangements continue long-term. Surveyed employees also felt that employers could provide more resources for productivity to support them.  

Less than four in 10 (39 percent; APJ: 46 percent) felt that their employers were fully supportive of long-term remote work. When it comes to technology resources, nearly half (49 percent; APJ: 50 percent) felt that their employer was not doing everything they could to support effective remote working. Additionally, only 38 percent (APJ: 40 percent) felt that their employer was doing everything they could to provide them with the HR support needed to successfully work remotely.

“Employees had to pivot to a remote work arrangement overnight, and it is not surprising that they have concerns about long-term remote work,” said Eric Goh, vice president and managing director, Singapore, Dell Technologies. “The good news is that employees are ready to continue working remotely, but they hope to see greater support from their employers.” 

According to the research, employers have an ongoing task ahead to understand the challenges employees continue to face and to provide the necessary resources for successful long-term remote work. 

In terms of technology resources, surveyed employees had faced the greatest challenge in accessing internal company resources once circuit breaker (CB) measures were implemented. They were also hindered by the instability of their remote network, including Internet bandwidth. Employees also had to contend with using personal productivity equipment or tools for work – this should be of particular concern for organisations given the IT security risks that it could pose. As a result, employees stated that they want employers to provide productivity equipment or tools (42 percent; APJ: 39 percent) and ensure that they have access to internal company resources (41 percent; APJ: 36 percent).

Singapore employees’ top technology challenges:

  1. Access to internal company resources (35 percent)
  2. Stability of remote network, including Internet bandwidth (29 percent)
  3. Use of personal productivity equipment or tools for work (28 percent)

APJ employees’ top technology challenges:

  1. Stability of remote network, including Internet bandwidth (31 percent)
  2. Access to internal company resources (29 percent)
  3. Use of personal productivity equipment or tools for work (28 percent)

For HR support, both Singapore and APJ surveyed employees cited the top challenge being the lack of in-person communication. Other significant challenges were gaps in areas such as team engagement initiatives, learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools, and outdated policies for remote work. 

Singapore employees’ top HR challenges:

  1. Lack of in-person communication (44 percent)
  2. Lack of team engagement initiatives and best practice training for remote working (39 percent)
  3. Lack of or insufficient learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools (36 percent) 

APJ employees’ top HR challenges:

  1. Lack of in-person communication (41 percent)
  2. Lack of or insufficient learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools (39 percent)
  3. Lack of or insufficient best practice training for remote working, and outdated policies and guidelines for remote work (38 percent)

To successfully manage long-term remote work, more than half (51 percent; APJ: 47 percent) of the employees surveyed want best practice training for remote working, learning and development sessions (46 percent; APJ: 48 percent) and team engagement initiatives (45 percent; APJ: 46 percent).

“Work today is no longer anchored to one place and time,” added Goh. “Instead, it is focused on outcomes. Forward-looking employers must be ready to help their employees realise both their professional and personal roles effectively regardless of where they will be working – this is work redefined.”

Other key findings across age segments and organisational sizes:
  • Remote work is not new to employees in Singapore. As many as 60 percent of Singapore employees (APJ: 71 percent) had worked remotely before CB measures were implemented. Eighty percent (APJ: 84 percent) of Gen Z employees (aged 18 to 23 years old) have worked remotely before CB.  
  • In Singapore, the most important factor for remote working is having access to internal company resources (45 percent). This factor is particularly critical to those in large organisations with more than 1,000 employees, where 50 percent see this as the number one factor.
  • In APJ, the most important factors are the stability of one’s remote network (38 percent) and fixed working hours and personal time (38 percent).
  • Gen Zs also see access to company-issued productivity equipment or tools (34 percent; APJ: 27 percent) as a key technology obstacle. The same age group also cares the least about IT security of their remote network and devices (11 percent; APJ: 17 percent).
  • Significantly fewer Gen Z employees view IT security of their network and devices as a priority (12 percent), signalling a need for organisations to educate their workforce on IT security being everyone’s responsibility.
  • In Singapore, the lack of or insufficient learning and development sessions, which includes training for virtual tools, was especially felt by surveyed employees aged 55 and above (Baby Boomers), with 43 percent viewing it as their top HR challenge.
  • In APJ, the most significant HR challenge felt by Baby Boomers was the lack of in-person communication, with 35 percent viewing it as their top challenge.
  • More employees from mid-sized to large organisations in Singapore with more than 500 employees faced issues with access to Virtual Private Network (VPN) (22 percent). This correlates with the finding that half of those in large organisations with more than 1,000 employees find access to company resources as the most critical factor during remote work.  

About the study 

The Remote Work Readiness Index is a study commissioned by Dell Technologies that captures data across seven markets in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region – Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea – on the readiness of the workforce for long-term remote work. It focuses on understanding the factors important for remote working; employees’ willingness as well as concerns to work remotely for the long term, and the technology and human resource (HR)-related support they need to successfully work remotely. The study also assesses employers’ efforts to provide these resources and identifies opportunities for organisations considering a hybrid workplace or adopting remote work practices.  

The full findings for Singapore can be found here: https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-sg/collaterals/unauth/briefs-handouts/solutions/dt-remote-work-readiness-index-sg-report.pdf

Read also: Michigan Ross Survey in Singapore Reveals Critical Leadership Skills Essential for Businesses Success in a Post COVID Era

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