Three-quarters of Singapore employees expect work-life balance to improve from flexi-work: poll

ALMOST three-quarters of Singapore employees expect work-life balance to improve as working from home regularly becomes a permanent option, according to a survey conducted by UOB.

Additionally, 70 per cent of respondents also said their productivity will improve as they have greater freedom over how they manage their working hours.

Dean Tong, head of group human resources at UOB, said that given how Singaporeans have had the experience of "a different way to work", they now expect more "flexibility in working from wherever they will be most productive and which best suits their work-life needs".

This comes against the backdrop of bleaker sentiments on the impact of Covid-19 on job security.

The same study found that 89 per cent of employees in Singapore feel they need to work longer hours to avoid losing their jobs. This similarity panned out across other Asean markets surveyed, such as Indonesia at 92 per cent and Malaysia at 90 per cent.

Singapore employees also had the greatest concern among their Asean counterparts that companies will choose to retrench to cut costs amid the economic downturn, standing at 88 per cent.

Compared to Singapore employees, only 65 per cent of employees in Indonesia were worried that employers will retrench staff to cut costs. Nearly eight in 10 employees in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam shared this concern.

Apart from job security worries, UOB also found that the Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to concerns over well-being, with 56 per cent of Singapore residents worried about their mental health and happiness.

However, 70 per cent of these employees believe that their employers will pay more attention to staff well-being as a result of lessons learnt from the pandemic.

Among the respondents, those aged 24 to 39 years old as well as young professionals who are married with children were found to have the greatest concern over their emotional well-being, at 62 per cent and 71 per cent respectively.

Mr Tong noted that spending prolonged periods at home could cause people to feel "socially disconnected and isolated", thus the use of technology, virtual engagement programmes and digital tools would help to "manage their workload and well-being".