- The Straits Times
Flexible working attitudes are becoming the norm among Singaporean employees as more choose to work outside of the office, according to a recent study.
Research findings from the IWG Flexible Working Survey released by IWG – parent group of workspace companies Regus and Spaces – revealed that over 60% of employees in Singapore work remotely on a weekly basis, with almost 50% doing so for at least half the week.
The study was based on the insights of more than 18,000 business professionals from various types of industries in 96 companies. Respondents were asked for their views on the benefits and drivers of flexible working trends.
The survey also indicated that 63% of employees in Singapore are working a minimum of one day a week in places other than their office. Nearly half (47%) work remotely for at least half of the week, whereas 10% of employees work outside of their company’s main office location five times a week.
Technological change, globalisation and changes in employee expectations have been identified as the primary drivers of the emergence of the mobile workforce, said IWG.
Singapore businesses have also shown to recognise the significant benefits of offering their employees flexible working strategies such as business growth (92%), competitiveness (92%), profit maximisation (90%), productivity (82%) as well as attracting and retaining top talent (81%).
In addition to the financial and strategic advantages conferred to businesses, flexible working would lead to employee benefits including shortened commuting time, enhanced productivity, staff retention, job satisfaction and creativity, the survey found.
Most business professionals concur as 93% of respondents said that flexible workspaces allow for greater employee productivity while 81% of respondents agree flexible working helps to retain top talent, with 65% already offering such policies to improve recruitment.
More than half (58%) agreed that offering flexible working bolsters job satisfaction, demonstrating the need for businesses to provide working environments catered to present-day employees to maintain a first-class workforce, said IWG.
Flexible working and shared workspace concepts are no longer considered the preserve of start-ups as successful businesses around the world such as Etihad Airways, Diesel, Mastercard and Microsoft have already adopted the approach.
Mark Dixon, founder and CEO of IWG, said: “Changes in technology and digitalisation have led to a growing use of on-demand services generally in business, with organisations of all sizes wanting to increasingly outsource non-core activities.”
“Flexible working, supported by a professional on-demand workspace network, is now being discussed by senior leaders across functions in companies including risk management, business development, human resources, marketing and strategy,” he added.
“One day soon, flexible working could simply be known as ‘working’. We are reaching the tipping point.”