Over 80% of Singaporeans favour flexible work for improved mental well-being
A recent study by UOB’s ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study has revealed that over 80% of Singaporeans are keen on their organisations implementing flexible working arrangements as a means to enhance their mental well-being. The survey, which involved a thousand Singaporean respondents, as reported by The Independent, highlights the strong preference for this approach among the workforce.
The report indicates that a significant 85% of respondents are enthusiastic about their companies adopting some form of flexible work setup, with the most favoured option being the hybrid work model. Other sought-after approaches include remote work (21%) and entirely flexible arrangements (25%). Surprisingly, only 16% of those surveyed expressed a willingness to return to full-time office work, despite nearly half of the local workforce already having done so, as indicated in the report. Presently, only 7% of employees continue to work from home, while 45% have embraced some form of flexible work arrangement.
Interestingly, there appears to be a noticeable disconnect between employers and employees in Singapore when it comes to flexibility, a trend that previous research has highlighted. Notably, while 83% of employers claim to offer flexibility, only 61% of employees believe this is indeed the case.
The demand for flexibility in the workplace comes as 59% of employees surveyed expressed a strong desire for flexible working hours as a measure of mental health and well-being support from their employers. Additional measures to bolster mental health include cashing in unused annual leave (37%), sabbatical leave (31%), mental health days (30%), and flexible workload options (29%). According to the report, only around 70% of local office workers in Singapore are satisfied with the mental health support provided by their employers, which lags behind the 81% satisfaction level seen in other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore has consistently advocated for the permanent adoption of flexible working arrangements by employers to help employees strike a better work-life balance.