A new report based on the study Decoding Global Ways of Working states that 89 percent of the global workforce now expect to work remotely more often. Seventy-four percent of Singaporean respondents echo this sentiment, expecting a partial remote working arrangement when the pandemic blows over. A total of 6,280 Singaporean respondents — out of 209,000 participants across 190 countries — took part in the study.
The study is conducted in partnership with SEEK Asia (The parent company of JobStreet), Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network. It is the second release in a series of publications focusing on the pandemic’s impact on worker preferences and expectations. The data gathered for Decoding Global Ways of Working provides insights into work preferences by gender, age, education level, level of digital skill, and position in the job hierarchy.
Most Singaporean respondents now prefer a hybrid work arrangement, with two or three days a week working from home and the rest in the office. And it is not just those in digital, knowledge, and office jobs — many of whom are already working remotely — who want more workplace flexibility on a permanent basis. Even study participants who have jobs that require the handling of physical goods, or contact with clients, expressed a desire for setups that would allow them to work remotely at least occasionally.
It is flexibility that most Singaporeans are interested in, not a 180-degree turn in the traditional model that would have everyone working from home all the time and never going to a physical work location. Only a relatively small proportion of workers — one in five — would switch to a completely remote model if they could.
Apart from work location and work practices, the survey also identified some shifts in what people value at work. Good relationships with their superiors, followed by good relationships their colleagues, are what Singaporeans consider when it comes to staying in their current jobs. In 2020, financial compensation became the third most important near-term benefit. Employer’s financial stability, career development, learning and skills training, while still important considerations, now rank lower when it comes to weightage.
Racial and environmental issues have gained much more attention in 2020. A majority of Singaporean workers now expect their employers to be advocates of environmental responsibility as well as diversity and inclusion. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that the issue of environmental responsibility has become more important to them. Roughly seven in ten respondents now value diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
A total of 44 percent of respondents said that they would exclude companies that do not match their beliefs in environmental responsibility when searching for a job; for diversity and inclusion, the number is 54 percent.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, many jobseekers have begun re-evaluating their work priorities,” says Chew Siew Mee, Country Manager, JobStreet Singapore. “Employers must adapt in order to remain attractive to top talents. They must become technology champions, ensuring convenient access to collaboration tools and the deployment of robust infrastructure in both the office and at home. There is also a need to focus on employees’ well-being, with initiatives that centre on work-life balance, mentorship and career development. Finally, they need to get involved in social and/or environmental issues, and be a role model that their employees are proud to be associated with.”