Let us work from home, say Singapore workers

A survey commissioned by the Straits Times highlighted that the majority of Singapore’s workforce do not wish to return to the office.
By: | October 12, 2020

While a permanent return to the office is likely to be a key consideration for many companies as they begin to plan their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, are employees ready to make the transition?

In Singapore, a recent survey of nearly 1,800 people commissioned by The Straits Times found that 8 out of 10 workers prefer to continue working remotely, or have flexible working arrangements.

Among the top concerns raised by the respondents include the resumption of daily commute and the safety of their work environments, which they fear will increase their exposure to COVID-19. Three out of 10 respondents also felt that wearing a mask in the office was “uncomfortable and distracting.”

Four in 10 workers wanted the option of splitting their time between the office and their home, while slightly more than four in 10 said they wanted to continue working from home.

READ: Singapore reviewing work-from-home policy

For those who are continuing to work from home, longer working hours and doing work outside their usual office hours are concerns, as well as distractions from children or family members, and the difficulty in convincing bosses of their productivity.

Just under half of the survey respondents felt that working from home helped them to save money, while seven in 10 said working from home improved their mental health.

It would also appear that organisations need to spend more time to communicate with their employees as they decide to continue remote working or return to the office. About half of the survey respondents are concerned that they would be penalised by their bosses if they expressed their preference to work from home.