A third of Singaporeans feel more productive working from home

A new research revealed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on employee productivity and well-being in Singapore.
By: | April 15, 2020

One in three employees in Singapore feel more productive since they started working from home while 20% said otherwise, according to the latest study by Qualtrics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies in the city state to implement remote working for their employees in a bid to curb the outbreak.

The research, which surveyed 350 Singaporeans from March 27 to April 2, also gives insight into feeling around uncertainties regarding the future of jobs in Singapore. 68% of respondents said they are at least somewhat worried they will lose their job, while 13% are not worried at all.

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When it comes to employee well-being, there has been a marked rise in anxiety and stress since the COVID-19 outbreak. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they are feeling more anxious in the current environment, and 64% saying they were feeling more stressed.

The study also gives insight into how the current situation is impacting their mental health, with the shift to working from home improving the workforce’s mental health.

A third (35%) of workers said their mental health has improved over the last few weeks. The main reasons given for this are working from home (27%), and feeling less stressed (17%) or busy at work (15%.)

In contrast, 26% said their mental health has declined in this time – this falls to 22% when narrowed down to people working from home. The top five reasons given by all respondents for this are stress (25%), anxiety (22%), being worried about their job (19%), feeling fatigued (7%), and working from home (6%).

To combat the rise in stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges, workers have found engaging in regular exercise most helpful (31%). As they adapt to working from home for a prolonged period of time and social distancing measures, setting clear boundaries between work and life (21%) and establishing a set schedule (13%) have also been beneficial. Simply eating healthier (9%) has also been a popular choice to lift moods.

For companies looking to improve the well-being of their workforce, the study shows providing access to resources for employers to do their job (18%) has the biggest impact. Other actions having a positive impact include having clear expectations on what’s expected (17%), communications from company leadership (15%), and informal team gatherings (13%).

“The most important thing managers or individuals can do right now to help their colleagues is to ask: Are you ok? We should be asking that question weekly, and in some instances even daily such is the rate of change we are all experiencing,” said Steve Bennetts, Head of EX Strategy & Solutions at Qualtrics in APJ.

“We are transitioning to a new world of work, and right now it is crucial businesses are engaging their teams in two way communication. Giving employees a chance to feedback, and then acting on that feedback by communicating with employees about what the business is doing to support them and what is expected of them will bridge a number of the employee experience gaps our research found to help boost productivity and engagement,” he added.