94% of Singapore's hybrid workers suffer from stress: report

Is work-life balance really a benefit in hybrid work?

94% of Singapore's hybrid workers suffer from stress: report

Despite the promise of better work-life balance, a new report has found that 94% of Singaporean hybrid workers are suffering from stress, well above the global average of 86%.

The findings come as Singapore recently emerged as the strongest champion of hybrid work across the Asia-Pacific region, with leaders there being more open to granting complete flexibility to employees.

Singapore's government has also been urging companies to embrace flexibility in the post-pandemic workplace, citing its benefits to recruitment, retention, and workforce engagement. 

However, research from Cigna among 1,001 Singapore-based respondents found that employees are suffering from "virtual overload or fatigue" amid hybrid work, with 90% saying they work outside normal hours at least once a week.

Employees want their leaders to do something about their fatigue, according to the report, but only 8% of Singapore companies provide support.

Larisa Beckhouse, head of Insights International Markets at Cigna, said the findings indicate that hybrid work comes with pros and cons.

"While many employees in Singapore desire the flexibility of hybrid work, they are also struggling with increased workload, virtual fatigue, and reduced interaction with co-workers," Beckhouse said. "The solution to this is not only in finding the most effective split or schedule of remote and in-office working, but understanding what employees need to help them combat stress and burnout as well as improving engagement with their work and colleagues."

Stress in Singapore

Overall, the report found that 86% of Singaporeans are stressed, with 95% of Gen Z respondents saying that they were suffering from stress. Gen Z is also the most emotionally impacted by stress, according to the report, with 51% saying it made them more emotional and 50% said it made them feel depressed.

Among the top drivers of stress were financial and economic issues that include:

  • Cost of living (50%)
  • Uncertainty about the future (38%)
  • Personal finance (35%)

The report further found that 95% of Singaporeans are already burned out, while others suffer from loss of concentration (56%) and productivity (48%).

Work attitudes

Stress also prompted 35% of survey respondents to switch employers over the past year, and another 34% to find a new job in the next 12 months.

"Recent economic trends have only exacerbated stress levels among adults, especially the younger generation," said Raymond Ng, CEO of Cigna Singapore. "Employers must recognise that stress impacts the individual, their families, friends and the organisations and colleagues they work with, and offer well-being support that better match employees' expectations, or risk losing productivity and talent."

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