Singaporean workers are optimistic that the ‘new normal’ will result in a positive working environment, although they are less confident than their global counterparts about job prospects, reveals the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View.
The report found that two-thirds of Singaporean workers (67 per cent) feel optimistic about the next five years in the workplace. Singaporeans also appear hopeful that key workplace factors will improve in the “new normal”, with around half (51 per cent) believing that COVID-19 will have a positive impact on workplace flexibility, and 47 per cent believing that they will be able to better develop their skill set. At the same time, concerns about finances and staying competitive in the job market are still keenly felt. 49 per cent of Singaporean workers believe that their ability to find a new job, and their financial security, will be negatively impacted by COVID-19.
These attitudes towards job prospects are highlighted especially clearly when compared to their global counterparts. Around a third of Singaporean workers surveyed were extremely or very confident that they could find another job offering the same flexibility (34 per cent), job satisfaction (32 per cent) or better pay (28 per cent). However, when compared against global averages of 56, 52 and 53 per cent respectively, Singaporeans are more cautious about their post-COVID-19 careers, while still maintaining a positive outlook.
The global survey of more than 32,000 workers in 17 countries explores whether the effects of the pandemic have impacted employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future. Peter Hadley, President – Asia Pacific, commented: “This new data from ADP tells us that Singaporeans are really feeling the pressures from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Although many people have been hard hit professionally, there’s a sense that what has been a dark cloud could have a silver lining in various ways when it comes to the world of work, particularly in terms of accelerating the shift towards flexible working patterns.”
In the current landscape, the report indicates that unease around financial and job security dominates how workers feel since the pandemic hit. The vast majority of workers across all countries (90 per cent) say that during the pandemic they have had concerns over their financial or job security. These fears are understandable, given that 57 per cent of Singaporean workers report having been impacted professionally in some way due to COVID-19. Of these changes, a third of respondents (29 per cent) either lost a job, were furloughed or were temporarily laid off by their employer. A quarter took a pay cut (24 per cent), while almost one in six (15 per cent) reduced their hours or responsibilities. “Understandably, job or financial security is front of mind for many, and these concerns unfortunately reflect reality. In a year when many businesses have had to shut temporarily or permanently, or significantly alter their operations, the effects of the disruption and uncertainty on the workforce have been profound,” said Hadley. “The challenge now for employers and HR teams is to find ways to harness the positives while, as far as possible, alleviating the negatives to ensure that staff stay upbeat, motivated and empowered to do well moving forward.”