Are flexi-work policies the new norm?

Will flexible working arrangements be enough to retain employees in Singapore this year?

Are flexi-work policies the new norm?

Two in three employers in Singapore have plans to make flexible working arrangements a permanent fixture in the office.

Currently, almost all (95%) have implemented flexi-work arrangements due to the pandemic, according to a new study.

What’s more, over half of employers reported that remote workers are working at a higher rate of productivity compared with their usual levels, between 50% to 99%.

This is welcome news for employees, as two-thirds believe flexible working is crucial to attain a healthy work-life balance.

Read more: Almost all employees reject a return to the old normal

Is flexi-work enough to retain staff?

However, having a flexi-work policy may not be enough to retain or attract employees, found RGF International Recruitment’s latest study. Singaporeans continue to prioritise career advancement opportunities (43%) and salary packages (42%) when deciding whether to stay or leave a company.

Unsurprisingly, competitive compensation remains top of the list here — especially due to the ongoing pandemic, which has been causing high levels of uncertainty and job anxiety.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of employees said they will consider quitting if they don’t get a salary increment this year. Besides a decent base salary, majority (76%) of employees are also taking into account performance-based bonuses in their pay packages.

The report Suggested that despite COVID-19 altering the hiring outlook and expectations, employees remain open to new job opportunities that can offer them more.

This might be a concern for employers given the current climate, as 44% say that smaller hiring budgets are their biggest challenge for 2020.

Most employers also expecting an upcoming talent crunch, with 58% saying this is due to a lack of candidates with the necessary skills, and increased competition from other employers (38%). A third (36%) continue to struggle to find candidates who fit their corporate culture.

Read more: How to hire during a global crisis

“COVID-19 has hit business sentiment hard, and with Singapores economy slipping into a technical recession last quarter, it is natural that employers are feeling cautious and concerned about hiring,” said James Miles, managing director at RGF International Recruitment - Singapore.

The continuance of flexible working, which includes working from home, split teams, and flexible hours, will be a key consideration for hirers, as talents expectations surrounding this could differ and change alongside the pandemic.

“More than anything, employers need to be agile to meet these needs, while also realigning internally on various policies and programmes that will keep talent engaged and motivated.”

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