Singaporean students worry about impact of remote work

Many looking for work-life balance – but concerned about social connections with colleagues

Singaporean students worry about impact of remote work

Singapore's future professionals are looking for work-life balance and high future earnings, according to a new report.

“"What is interesting… is just how highly young local talent prioritise work-life balance in this market, possibly as a symptom of living in such a career-focused country that so highly prizes academic and career achievement," said Mike Parsons, Managing Director of APAC for Universum.

A survey by Universum of over 10,000 university students in Singapore discovered that the top factors they will look for in future employers include:

  • Encouraging work-life balance
  • High future earnings
  • A friendly work environment
  • Secure employment
  • Professional training and development
  • Flexible working conditions
  • Competitive base salary
  • Good reference for future career
  • Clear path for advancement
  • Respect for its people

"A standout characteristic of Singapore's young professional workforce is how pragmatic and forward thinking they are," said Parsons, in a media release.

"Over the years, all through the data, we have seen this group prioritising things like growth, development, career path, and future earnings over things more immediate, such as base salary and benefits. Even in the face of high inflation, this has not changed much."

Downside to work-life balance?

While remote work is preferred by 73% of Singapore's future professionals, 49% of the respondents also said they are worried about it impacting their social connections with colleagues.

This comes as more Singaporeans put high importance on workplace relationships with their colleagues and direct managers, according to Randstad.

Nearly half of students (45%) surveyed by Universum are also concerned that their employers could be biased for in-person staff.

This is reflective of the situation across the world, where 71% of senior HR leaders in an Executive Network survey agreed or strongly agreed that there's likely a proximity bias between in-person and the remote/hybrid workforce.

Singapore has been described as a champion of hybrid work across the Asia-Pacific region with less than one in 10 leaders there expecting employees to be on-site 100% of the time. The government has also been strongly encouraging employers to embrace flexible work arrangements.

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