Majority of workers prefer to continue flexible work preparations: IPS working paper

SINGAPORE: A sizeable proportion of workers right here prefer to retain flexible work preparations slightly than work from the workplace or from dwelling on most days, a research by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) has discovered.

The research, which polled greater than 2,000 workers over 9 months, discovered that most well-liked work preparations have shifted significantly all through the pandemic.

From mid-July final yr to April this yr, between 41 and 52 per cent felt that flexible work preparations must be the brand new norm for workplaces in Singapore.

In the identical interval, round 20 to 35 per cent felt that working from dwelling on most days must be the brand new norm for workplaces.

These findings have been revealed on Monday (Apr 25) in a working paper on Attitudes in direction of Work and Workplace Arrangements Amidst COVID-19 in Singapore. It was authored by 4 researchers: Dr Mathew Mathews, principal analysis fellow at IPS and head of the IPS Social Lab, and three others from the Social Lab – analysis assistant Fiona Phoa, affiliate director Mike Hou and analysis affiliate Elizabeth Lim.

The researchers stated within the working paper {that a} choice to work from dwelling on most days elevated when instances of COVID-19 in Singapore rose, whereas there was a rise within the choice to work from the workplace with the easing of pandemic restrictions.

“This suggests that there has been a shift in attitudes towards living with COVID-19 as more employees return to the office, and as COVID-19 case numbers come under control,” stated the paper.

In newer waves, round 4 in 10 (37 to 43 per cent) felt that workers must be allowed to work from dwelling three days per week.

In truth, extra respondents have been going again to the office on most days. At least half of the research respondents have been doing so throughout the course of the pandemic, and the proportion has been growing in 2022.

As many as 74 per cent stated they have been returning to workplaces on most days when polled between Apr 1 and Apr 11.

“Some have, however, felt cajoled to return,” stated the researchers.

Between 37 and 42 per cent of respondents who at present labored from dwelling most or all of the time felt pressured to return to the workplace on most days, however this proportion has been steadily lowering.

The COVID-19 multi-ministry job power introduced final Friday that each one workers can return to the office from Tuesday, together with additional leisure of secure administration measures, such because the elimination of group dimension restrictions.


The surveys additionally discovered that girls, specifically caregivers, have been extra possible to prefer flexible work and working from dwelling.

Around 73 per cent of feminine respondents felt that working from dwelling on most days or flexible work preparations must be the brand new norm for workplaces in Singapore, as in contrast to round 66 per cent of male respondents.

“The gendered preferences for work arrangements in the new norm possibly reflects how females continue to be burdened with the lion’s share of domestic care work,” stated the researchers.

Among respondents with youngsters at dwelling, 44 per cent felt that flexible work preparations must be the brand new norm for workplaces. 

Respondents with aged individuals at dwelling have been extra possible to really feel that flexible work preparations must be the brand new norm for workplaces in Singapore (52 per cent) as in contrast to these with youngsters or these with each youngsters and aged individuals at dwelling.

The research additionally discovered that round 94 per cent of feminine respondents with dependants most well-liked working from dwelling on most days or having flexible working preparations as in contrast to 86 per cent of male respondents with dependants.


The researchers famous that workers have higher psychological well-being when their present office preparations matched their most well-liked work preparations.

For instance, working mother and father, particularly these with younger youngsters, expressed the poorest ranges of well-being when their office association required them to return to their workplaces, in accordance to the paper.

“It’s important for employers to try to find out the preferences that their workers have based on where they are in their work cycle, life cycle – whether they have children or not … not everybody wants to work exclusively from home, some people just would prefer just to be in the office,” stated Dr Mathews. 

On how employers will help workers transition again to working within the workplace or a hybrid working mannequin, greater than 4 in 10 respondents felt that employers ought to enable workers to select which days they’d prefer to return to the workplace.

When requested why some prefer to work from the workplace, respondents cited quick access to the workplace community or IT methods, the benefit of collaborating with colleagues on tasks and conducive working area.

On the opposite hand, greater than eight in 10 respondents felt that decreased possibilities of getting COVID-19, higher flexibility in incorporating private life wants with work schedules and the flexibility to attend to household wants have been essential causes for preferring to work from dwelling.

Among respondents who have been at present working from dwelling and felt that working from dwelling on most days or flexible working preparations must be the brand new norm for workplaces, round 42 per cent of the respondents indicated that they’d think about in search of one other job if their employer required them to return to the workplace on most days.

Dr Mathews stated that workers and employers additionally want to be “active” in adjusting to hybrid work preparations and to be “cognisant” of the problems.

The working paper famous that not all have benefitted from the shift in direction of flexible work. For instance, tlisted here are instances of workers who skilled burnout because the strains between work and their personal lives blurred.

What does it mean (that) flexible work arrangements become the norm? How do they operate that system, how they draw the lines … to preserve their mental well-being?” he stated.

“What kind of ways (are there to) motivate them to continue to work at high levels of productivity? Many of those considerations need to be put in place … as we embark on further shifts in our work culture.”

Majority of workers prefer to continue flexible work arrangements: IPS working paper

Chew Hui Min

Source :

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