As many as 41% of Singaporeans say they would rather be unemployed than feel unhappy in a job and more than half (52%) would quit if their jobs prevented them from enjoying life, reveals the survey results of the 2022 Workmonitor survey in Singapore by human resources solutions agency Randstad.
The bi-annual survey highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.
“The purpose of work has changed significantly over the past two years and employees have had the opportunity to re-evaluate how they want their careers to fit into their lives. Many workers are now looking for jobs that offer greater well-being support, which is the product of positive workplace culture and clear communication, relevant training programmes, and a strong management team,” said Jaya Dass, managing director at Randstad Singapore and Malaysia.
“Employers need to offer a holistic and comprehensive work environment to their employees, as an attractive salary itself may not be as effective in retaining employee motivation and productivity in the long run.”
Further, nearly 57% of respondents aged between 25 and 34 years old said that they would quit their jobs if it prevented them from enjoying their lives. In comparison, 45% of respondents aged between 45 and 54 years old echoed the same sentiments, slightly lower than the younger generations.
“Mature workers may have higher financial responsibilities, a more established career, and are thus less likely to risk their job security to change employers. Conversely, younger employees are reforming their definition of success, which is reflected in their willingness to explore job switches to find the organisational structures and culture that best match their aspirations and lifestyles,” Dass added.
As many as 27% said that they have quit a job because it didn’t provide enough flexibility in terms of working hours and location.
More than three in four respondents (77%) in the study said that they value the importance of remote work, and 42% said that they would not accept the job if they are unable to work from home. Only 52% reported that their employers provided them remote working options.
Four in five respondents (80%) said that having flexibility in terms of working hours is important to them. While 60% said that their jobs provide them flexible work hours, 41% said that they would not accept a job if they could not work the hours that they want to.
“Even though flexible working arrangements are important to employees in Singapore, not all companies are seen to be offering it as an option after the pandemic. As such, employees who value the flexibility to decide when and where they want to work may seek to work for other employers that offer these options,” Dass said.
“Employers that want to retain their employees should consider offering more flexible work models to meet the changing talent expectations that are brought about and exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition to offering flexible work arrangements, companies should reconsider the purpose of the office as a collaborative space that fills up the communicative gaps of remote work, rather than resign to closed-off work cubicles.”
Nearly 44% of respondents in Singapore wouldn’t mind earning a lower salary if they felt that their job contributed to society, 10% higher than the global average.
Remarkably, 47% of respondents aged between 45 and 54 reported that they would not mind earning a lower salary if they felt that their job contributed to society, which made up the largest proportion across all the generations.
“As more people become aware of their impact on the environment and society, employers need to start actively engaging with their employees to address societal issues and create a more meaningful work purpose for them. They can offer opportunities for employees to drive or participate in these conversations through employee resource groups or in their daily work as part of the company’s business agenda. This can be as big-picture as the company’s tangible actions to reverse climate change and promote gender equality - or as micro-focused as providing flexibility to their employees,” Dass added.
More than two in five respondents (43%) said that they would not accept a job with a business that does not align with their values on social and environmental issues. The same percentage reported the same sentiment if the company was not making a proactive effort to improve its diversity and equity.
The latest 2022 Randstad Workmonitor study was conducted between 21 February 2022 and 13 March 2022 with 1,000 locally-based respondents who are employed and aged between 18 and 67 years old in Singapore.