Three in 10 respondents in Singapore have changed jobs between March and September 2021. However, in quarter four of 2021, two in five respondents were reportedly dissatisfied with their employers and one in four was on the lookout for a new job because of recent events, says the latest bi-annual Workmonitor survey in Singapore by HR solutions agency Randstad.
When considering their career choices, 49% of Singaporeans value having a job with manageable stress levels, 27% of respondents want a supervisor who is an advocate for them, and 42% of respondents prioritise working for a respected and caring employer, says the survey that highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.
The survey was conducted in September 2021 across Singapore and 33 markets around the world with a minimum of 800 respondents in each.
Close to nine in 10 respondents said that the experience of the pandemic has made them want more flexibility in their jobs and careers in the future. Three in five respondents have considerably reassessed how work fits into their personal schedule in the past 18 months.
“What we are witnessing is in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ phenomena that is happening across the globe. The experience of the pandemic and the increased levels of stress and burnout have caused many Singaporeans to change their approach towards work. Many employees are reconsidering their career and professional development paths as they begin to prioritise intangible benefits such as a healthier work-life balance or finding more meaningful work,” says Jaya Dass, Managing Director for Randstad Malaysia and Singapore, said.
Mental health and work-life balance have become a massive priority for employees in Singapore and people are rethinking their career purpose in this evolving world of work.
“Employees who have stayed with their companies over the past two years for a sense of job and income security are now ready to move on. Despite the increasing number of job seekers, companies that are hiring must be ready to meet these new candidate expectations and create a positive and wholesome experience to retain their workforce.”
Many job seekers in Singapore, as per the survey, seek to work for an employer who cares about their well-being, stress levels, and growth.
“This means business leaders and managers will need to actively listen to your employees and acknowledge that their viewpoints may be different. Take proactive corrective steps to resolve their work challenges so that they can realise their true potential,” says Dass.
But, more significantly, 65 per cent of Singaporean feel more stressed since the pandemic and have expressed a desire to make changes to their work life balance, according to the bi-annual survey.
Respondents, aged between 18 and 44, felt the most affected by the pandemic, with more than seven in 10 respondents from this group feeling more stressed and looking to make changes to their work-life balance, says the survey.
“Working from home has imbued in employees an ‘always on’ mindset as the boundaries between personal and professional lives are blurred, leading many to working beyond standard hours. In this current wave of Covid, it’s not surprising that many are feeling stressed and discouraged as they continue to face challenges at home and work. From organising outings to checking in, employers have the opportunity to step up and offer support to their staff to help alleviate their stress levels,” says Dass.
In contrast, only 48% of respondents aged between 55 and 67 felt more stressed, the lowest among any age group in the region.
“Compared to the younger generations, mature workers tend to have more established careers and feel more settled in life. Most of them are likely to shift their focus to retirement soon as well, and are more likely to want to mentor the younger generations of workers. Organisations should leverage their expertise and experience to train and upskill their workforce, so that they can develop a healthy talent pipeline,” adds Dass.
Younger employees open to overseas jobs if remote
Asked if they would be open to an overseas job if they are to perform the job fully remotely from Singapore, 69% of respondents said that they would consider it.
However, there was some disparity age-wise, in inclinations for work locations.
Four in five respondents aged 18 to 24 said that they would be open to a job opportunity if they can perform the job from Singapore. On the other hand, only half of respondents aged 55 to 67 said that they are open to these roles.
“The younger generations grew up in a globalised world and they embrace the rewards and challenges of cultural exchanges. Furthermore, in the early stages of their careers and lives, they want to explore as many opportunities as they can before settling down permanently. We are seeing the younger employees having a huge appetite to pursue overseas job postings to gain more exposure and work experience,” says Dass.
“Singapore is also doubling down on its national upskilling programme and is encouraging companies to give their staff global exposure as part of that effort. If possible, companies can look to offer their employees job rotations, overseas deployments or participation in regional and global projects to grant the younger generation more exposure,” she adds.