Singaporeans blame 'toxic' colleagues for work-life imbalance

One in three employees feel overworked

Singaporeans blame 'toxic' colleagues for work-life imbalance

One in three Singaporeans are not satisfied with their work-life balance, saying they don’t get to spend enough time with family and friends.

Employees cited uncooperative and over-competitive colleagues (40%) and the negative attitude of supervisors (42%) as biggest barriers to achieving work-life balance, according to the study.

Singaporeans generally feel they have an “average” work-life balance, and there’s still serious room for improvement. When asked what work-life balance means to employees, it was found:

  • 73% said not working on weekends
  • 69% cited the ability to leave work on time every day
  • 56% said a flexi-work arrangement
  • 54% said having a flexi-time option

Despite the varied understanding and expectations of work-life balance, 39% of Singaporeans said their current employer does not have an official policy in relation to flexible hours.

A whopping 86% of Singaporeans believe a good work-life balance can enhance productivity and will positively impact the business.

The study surveyed more than 1,000 respondents across Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and aimed to explore working professionals’ sentiments around work-life balance.

In Singapore, the expectation to work late hours probably comes as no surprise to many – with 33% of respondents saying they have to work late on a regular basis. In contrast, majority of respondents in Malaysia and the Philippines said they are only expected to work late when an important project crops up.

One third (33%) of Singaporeans reported they check emails “a few times a day” even when they are off work, while 38% said that smartphones make it difficult for them to “switch off”.

“Employers across Singapore have a better understanding than ever that providing flexible working policies and giving employees autonomy to decide their own hours is key to fostering higher engagement and increased productivity,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO - APAC & Gulf.

“However, implementation and management of such policies still proves to be a barrier for organisations, especially in more traditional fields.

“Although remuneration remains a main driver of happiness, poor work culture is the key reason for high turnover and disengagement. There are numerous flexible working policies businesses can take advantage of to ensure a balance inside and outside the office – the key is internally communicating these and ensuring expectations are aligned. Without a strong strategy for this, employees can feel unsupported by the business, even if work-life balance policies are technically in place.”

Find the term “work-life balance” a little overused? Here’s how you can approach it pragmatically: How to attain an authentic “work-life balance

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