Singapore employers, employees not seeing eye-to-eye on flexible work: report

'Provisions and preferences of flexibility that employees want aren't being provided by the employers'

Singapore employers, employees not seeing eye-to-eye on flexible work: report

Despite the popularity of flexible work arrangements in Singapore, a new Indeed report has found that employers could do more in providing flexible work provisions that employees truly want.

This comes as only 61% of employees believe their workplace is flexible, much lesser than the 83% of employers who claim they provide flexibility to staff.

"In other words, provisions and preferences of flexibility that employees want aren't being provided by the employers," said the report, titled Beyond 9 to 5: The Future of Flexibility in Work.

This disconnect is prevalent in the retail sector, where 80% of employers claim they offer flexibility, but only 42% of employees say they experience this. The mismatch is also significant in the tech, hospitality, and professional services sectors, according to the report.

Karthik Sudhakar, Strategy & Operations Lead, Indeed Singapore, underscored that it is crucial for employers to find an alignment that works for both employers and employees.

"Employees should be able to take advantage of flexible work without being penalised, and employers should prioritise flexibility to attract and retain talent," Sudhakar said in a media release. "Ultimately, the right flexible work arrangement is one that meets the needs of both the employee and the employer."

Flexible work in Singapore

Employers across Singapore have been encouraged to make flexible work arrangements a permanent feature in the workplace.

According to Indeed's report, the most offered flexible work arrangements by employers are:

  • Hybrid work (48%)
  • Flexible working hours (44%)
  • Remote work (19%)
  • Location flexibility (17%)
  • Four-day work week (15%)

Employers cited greater staff retention and talent attraction (34%) as the biggest benefits of flexible work. Other pros include:

  • Increased productivity (18%)
  • Cost savings and operational efficiency (15%)
  • Happier workforce (15%)
  • Allows for a more diverse workforce (14%)

Having a shared culture among teams, however, is the biggest drawback of flexible work (24%), according to employers. Other cons are:

  • Managing workload and deadlines (22%)
  • Managing employee expectations and fairness (15%)
  • I don't have visibility over work (12%)
  • Making less money (10%)
  • I have noticed a skills gap (6$)
  • Decreased productivity (4%)

Despite these disadvantages, the report found that 84% of employers still believe that flexibility will continue for years to come.

"Hopefully, with mutual trust and respect, flexible working can leverage organisations to bloom while creating a safe space for the employees," the report said.

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