, Singapore

1 in 4 employees feels less connected working remotely

The majority of Singaporean workers prefer hybrid work models and flexible working hours.

One in four full-time employees in Singapore felt less connected to their company because of working from home, according to a study by experience management platform, Qualtrics.

Qualtrics released the study, 6 July, conducted in May 2021 using an online survey among 585 full-time employees in Singapore.

The top three cited things that the respondents miss the most in working in an office include spontaneous interaction with colleagues, exposure to different ideas, and being around others.

Employees, on the other hand, cited difficulties separating work and personal lives (45%), lack of social connection (45%), difficulty collaborating (43%), and feelings of isolation as characteristics of the work-from-home setup they like the least.

“Creating a culture of belonging is the top driver of employee engagement, as well as a positive influence on engagement, intent to stay, and wellbeing, meaning it’s critical that initiatives focused on inclusivity and connectivity be an integral part of every organisation’s post-pandemic office plan,” said Qualtrics Head of EX Growth & Strategy Steve Bennetts.

Qualtrics found that that the number of employees who said their personal wellbeing declined during the pandemic was at 15% compared to 46% in April 2020, but showed that stress, anxiety, and concerns about job security continue to have an adverse effect on the workforce.

Millennials and Gen Z workers were more likely to report that they felt more connected to their company and their mental health improved compared to workers from Gen X.

Job type also has an impact on wellbeing and connectivity with higher numbers of managers, team leaders, and c-level executives reporting that their mental health improved compared to individual contributors and trainees.

The study found that those in higher positions were the least likely to feel connected compared to individual contributors and trainees. 

Meanwhile, 65% of Singaporeans prefer hybrid work models and flexible working hours, with 80% saying the work-from-home setup allowed them “to be equally or more productive as compared to pre-pandemic levels” due to fewer work interruptions, more control over their workspaces, and fewer in-person meetings.

About 78% of the respondents also said that they perceive co-workers to be “more or equally efficient in the delivery of work-related tasks since working remotely.”

Half of the respondents also said they are glad to return to the office once restrictions are lifted, while 25% said they won’t return until everyone is vaccinated and the remaining were unsure.

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