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2 in 5 workers in Singapore wouldn’t take a job if they can’t work from home: study

SINGAPORE – Two in five workers in Singapore would not accept a job if they could not work from home, according to a recent study.

Around 80% of the 1,000 employees surveyed also said it was important to them to have flexible working hours, and 41% of respondents said they would not take a job if they could not work for the hours they want.

The biannual study, conducted by human resource solutions agency Randstad, surveyed workers aged 18 to 67 in Singapore earlier this year.

About a quarter of respondents, or 27%, said they left a job because it did not offer enough flexibility in terms of working hours and location.

Ms. Jaya Dass, Managing Director of Randstad Singapore and Malaysia, noted that while flexible working arrangements are important for employees in Singapore, not all companies are offering them as an option in the current endemic Covid-19 environment.

Only 52% of respondents said their employers offered them remote work options, and 60% said their jobs had flexible working hours.

“As such, employees who value the flexibility to decide when and where they want to work may seek to work for other employers who offer these options,” Ms. Jaya said.

“Employers looking to retain employees should consider offering more flexible work models to meet the changing talent expectations that have been brought on and exacerbated by the pandemic,” she added.

The survey also revealed other feelings about the local labor market. Randstad’s survey is also conducted in other markets around the world, including Australia and Denmark.

Some 41% of workers surveyed said they would rather be unemployed than feel unhappy at their job, and just over half of respondents, 52%, said they would quit if their job prevented them to enjoy life.

More employers here are implementing flexible working arrangements and other hybrid working benefits as Singapore navigates life with Covid-19. The civil service and large companies are adopting practices such as allowing staff to work from home on certain days of the week and staggered working hours.

Dr David Leong, managing director of human resources consultancy PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said workers now prefer to work from home as working habits have become entrenched during Covid-19.

Flexibility in working arrangements will increasingly be seen as an employee right, if not normalized, he said.

“Those who would not accept a job if they cannot work from home should consider whether their request is reasonable and the context of the work. In a market where there are more jobs than job seekers, workers can afford to be demanding,” Dr Leong said.

But he warned: “The tide can turn when there are more job seekers than jobs.

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