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Time vs. Money

57% of Singaporeans want work-life balance over higher pay

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As reports of high stress levels and long working hours run rife in Singapore, a good work-life balance is increasingly becoming more important for local professionals in the country – more so than money.

The latest Kelly Global Workforce Index found 57% of workers said they would give up a chance to earn higher pay for a better work-life balance.

Surveying 230,000 people across 31 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, the Index highlighted 55% of respondents in Singapore also said they would consider foregoing higher pay for the opportunity to learn new skills.

Almost half of local respondents (45%) stated they would prefer a more flexible schedule than a higher compensation.

“While pay is a key driver of employee attraction and retention, the survey shows that workers in Singapore also value their professional growth and personal fulfillment, and are willing to make sacrifices to achieve them,” Mark Hall, vice president and managing director, Kelly Services Singapore, said.

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The value of such professional and personal fulfillment was, however, found to be lower for staff in Singapore than their counterparts in the Asia Pacific region. Two-thirds of employees in Asia Pacific stated they would consider sacrificing higher pay or career advancement for the opportunity to learn new skills, 65% for improved work-life balance, 48% for a more flexible work schedule, and 37% for the chance to perform more socially conscious work.

The survey also delved onto the mobility preferences of professionals across the globe.

It found only 29% of employees in Singapore are interested in moving to a different part of the globe for the right job, compared to 78% of those in Asia Pacific.

Almost four out of 10 (36%) of professionals in Singapore said their destination of choice is within Asia Pacific. The preferred destination for those in Asia Pacific to relocate was Europe (33%), followed by other parts of Asia Pacific (26%), North America (17%), Middle East (5%), South America (2%) and Africa (1%).

“In order to attract and retain high-performing talent, firms need to go beyond offering competitive pay, a good work-life balance and advancement opportunities,” the report stated.

Local bosses “generally supportive” of work-life balance
Countries with better work-life balance than Singapore

Image: Shutterstock

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