As FWAs become increasingly popular among employees as a benefit, employers in Singapore should look to incorporate training and development initiatives into their flexible work models.
While work looks different for everyone and there is not fixed solution for the best way to complete work, most employees prefer flexibility and having control over their own time. As such, the Workplace Benefits Preferences Survey launched by Zoom reveals the top workplace preferences of 4,000 knowledge workers surveyed across five countries, including Singapore. Here are some of the key findings.
Flexible work as a basic expectation, rather than perk
In Singapore, 65% prefer having a flexible schedule that allows them to work the hours that are productive for them, while 60% want the option to choose where they work from. Both ranked second only to competitive pay and benefits as top workplace perks. On a global scale, 43% of respondents said that flexible work is a basic expectation, rather than a perk.
The results confirm that flexible hours and schedules were benefits of top importance, outweighing other benefits such as professional development opportunities and childcare resources. This could be due to the fact that 87% of Singaporeans agreed that flexible working arrangements (FWAs), with options to work remotely or flex their schedules, lead to increased happiness.
Overall, these findings suggest that the traditional 9-5 model is no longer considered effective for work regardless of an employee's stage of life. Rather, employees prefer to have control over time and manage their own efficiency, determining how they work best while still meeting their employer's expectations.
Professional development opportunities equally important as flexible hours and location benefits
When asked to choose between two jobs with the same compensation and benefits packages, Singaporeans ranked flexible hours and location on par (73%) with professional development opportunities.
As professionals manage the challenge of balancing work, personal life and upskilling themselves, the significance of professional development remains crucial. This is also aligned with the government plans to reskill the workforce in order to seize new opportunities. With this, organisations in Singapore could look to incorporate training and development initiatives into their flexible work models.
Flexible work benefits' effect on employee retention
Employee experience is imperative to ensuring happy workers, as 61% of Singaporeans agree that the importance of benefits & perks has increased in the face of a challenging business climate. Among flexible work options, 61% appreciate the increased autonomy over their schedule. Another 57% value the opportunity to spend more quality time with their family, with 56% saying they benefited from more balanced childcare commitments and 51% seeing improved work-life balance.
Ricky Kapur, Head of APAC at Zoom, said, “Future of work discussions have since evolved beyond the ‘what if’ around flexible work, to the ‘what next’ as organisations navigate the shifting strategies for effective work collaboration in a hybrid environment.”
In 2022, the Ministry of Manpower released a set of guidelines for flexible work arrangements (FWAs), where organisations were strongly encouraged to continue offering FWAs and promote FWAs as a permanent feature in the workplace following the end of the pandemic.
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