Nearly half of employers in Singapore to increase technology investments

With remote working becoming the future of the workforce, employers are looking to increase their investments in technology to support it.
By: | April 28, 2020

46% of employers in Singapore said they will increase investments in technology while 14% expect to offer remote working as an employee benefit in the future, according to the Randstad Singapore’s COVID-19 Employer Pulse Survey.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies and employees to adapt to remote working as office premises were shut as part of the circuit breaker measures implemented by the Singapore government to stem the outbreak.

And with technology playing a critical part in ensuring the productivity and communication of employees as they work from home, employers are looking to increase their investments to improve their technology capabilities.

312 employers and HR professionals in Singapore were surveyed in March to understand their sentiments about remote working and what needs to be done to support it.

Apart from the 40% of respondents who are fully equipped with the necessary infrastructure, 46% said that they will increase investments in technology to improve overall organisational agility such as issuing of laptops (15%), upgrading their digital infrastructure (19%) and upgrading their network security (12%).

“Before COVID-19, many companies would have already shifted to cloud infrastructure and replaced all their employees’ desktops with laptops. These efforts are part of the government’s and companies’ push to create a digital economy in Singapore,” said Jaya Dass, Managing Director, Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad.

“However, when employees work from home for a prolonged period of time, they start to face new and unanticipated challenges. For example, workers may not be able to access encrypted files from the network due to incompatible software or an unstable VPN access. While some of these issues could be resolved remotely by network engineers, companies will need to find a longer-term solution to enable remote working and ensure productivity.”

With remote working becoming the future of the workforce, employers are considering offering it as part of their employee benefits after the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, 14% of the respondents indicated their intentions to do so.

“Employers may not have offered remote working as an employee benefit before COVID-19 as they were concerned about how it would impact productivity levels,” Dass added.

“However, this pandemic has allowed organisations to conduct an experiment to test their workforce productivity levels as well as the feasibility of their flexible and remote working policies. We would definitely see more companies develop more robust policies in flexible working arrangements and remote working from what they’ve learned during this period.”

The survey also showed 41% of employers are still hiring for replacement and critical roles. However, 40% of respondents have frozen headcount and 16% said that they are applying other measures to mitigate losses.