Singaporean workers want for flexibility from employers post COVID-19

Global survey of employed adults for the World Economic Forum finds 38% of Singaporeans now working from home more often than before the pandemic; preference is for working remotely 3 out of a 5-day week after it is over.

Singapore, 17 Aug 2021 - A new Ipsos survey in partnership with the World Economic Forum finds 38% of Singaporeans reporting they are now working from home more often than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online survey conducted between 21 May and 4 June 2021 among 395 employed Singaporean adults finds that the proportion of those who are always, mostly, or sometimes working from home today (58%) is 31 points higher than the proportion of those who were before the pandemic (27%). Most of those working from home (89%) at least some of the time today say they are doing so as a result of COVID-19.

The survey points to a (global) reconsideration of work arrangement preferences. For Singaporeans, the average number of days in a five-day week when those who are currently employed would prefer to be working from home when the pandemic is over and all restrictions have been lifted, averages three days.
Singaporeans strongly desire flexibility when going back to office once the pandemic is over and all the restrictions have been lifted.

Most (77%) feel that post-pandemic, employers should be more flexible in terms of requiring employees to go to an office. On average, Singaporeans expect to work from home three out of the five-day work week.

Though 7 in 10 Singaporeans feel that they are more productive with a flexible work schedule, clearly this is not true for everyone.

Around 1 in 3 feel that the home is a difficult place to be productive (36%) and they feel more burned out by work when they do so (35%).

Melanie Ng, Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos in Singapore said,

Though an overwhelming number of Singaporeans prefer flexibility to continue to work from home as required, there is a minority for whom working from home conditions are less than ideal. Employers may find it better to let employees have the option to choose their place of work instead of mandating home versus the office. The choice is not either or but a pragmatic combination of the two.


About the study:

  • The survey was conducted online between 21st May 2021 and 4th June, among a nationally representative sample of n=395 employed adult Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 18 and above.
  • Quotas on age, gender and ethnicity were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects the overall population distribution, based on Singapore Department of Statistics population estimates.
  • The precision of online surveys is measured using a credible interval. In this case, the results reported are accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points of the views and perspectives of all Singaporeans aged 18 and above (at 95% confidence interval). Credible intervals are wider among subsets of the population.