workweek, overwork, overworked, overworking, burnout

In fact, 47% would continue to work in the same job but for fewer hours, if money was not an issue.

Overworking, facing burnout, struggling to maintain work-life balance — it comes as no surprise that people have been working longer hours since the onset of the pandemic, with remote working making it harder to detach from work. And a recent survey in Singapore reaffirms that.

Per the survey, conducted as part of Indeed's Future of Work research study, just over half of Singapore employees (51%) involved say they have been overworking since the pandemic started. Additionally, more than half said they currently work more than the typical workweek of 44 hours (based on Singapore's regulations), with most wanting to work fewer hours. According to six in 10 respondents (60%), this would allow them to then spend more time with their family.

With these in mind, the survey revealed an interesting point — out of the 1,000 respondents, a large number (88%) overwhelmingly supported a four-day workweek with the same pay, and 63% said they are considering working less this year. In fact, 47% would continue to work in the same job but for fewer hours, if money was not an issue. 

However, not many companies are offering the option, even with reduced pay, as more than half of the respondents have indicated. Nishita Lalvani, Senior Manager, Marketing at Indeed SEA and India, noted: "This inflexibility is likely the result of an organisational culture that is conservative and has low trust. Despite two years of very unconventional working arrangements, management leaders might not be ready for flexible work options.

"However, our research indicates that most workers want this flexibility, and it's probably a good time for local employers to rethink their policies."

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What employees are expecting to see in 2022

Apart from the above, the research report also revealed the general optimism felt by Singapore workers about the job market in the year ahead. In particular, 57% of those surveyed said they expected the number of jobs on offer to rise this year, and 37% felt confident that 2022 will be a positive year for the local economy.

This, according to the report, reflects the high expectations that Singaporean workers have for 2022 in terms of economic recovery, as the "high vaccination rates suggest the country will be more resilient in the face of the recent Omicron wave."

The respondents further revealed the following thoughts and priorities:

  • Family, followed by physical health and relaxation in this order, matter the most to Singapore workers;
  • Employees are also looking for better work-life balance with increased flexibility, better financial compensation, and a less stressful workplace as their top three employment benefits in 2022.

Research methodology

The research study was conducted by Censuswide in late December 2021 on behalf of Indeed, among 1,000 employees in Singapore across various sectors, including info-communications, financial services, professional services, manufacturing, healthcare and wholesale trade.

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Lead image / 123RF

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