A closer look at Singapore
When it comes to Singapore, only 50% of respondents are working flexibly, however 75% of those working from anywhere have seen a significant improvement in their work life balance.
The results clearly indicated that consistency matters to workers in Singapore as 67% said they’d feel more confident working flexibly if they knew that the same policy was applicable to everyone across the company. Ensuring a fair, equal policy for all employees could be the way of getting more Singaporeans to join in the global trend.
From a lifestyle point of view, taking care of children (37%) and having more time to exercise (31%) are top reasons people like to have the option to work anywhere in Singapore. This comes as no surprise, given that long working hours are often cited as being a barrier to work/life balance in the city state, despite solid national initiatives to encourage a more family-friendly work culture.
Toh Hwee Tin, Director of NTUC’s Women and Family Unit said that while flexi-work arrangements were offered by many companies, these were mostly informal and not supported with policies or embedded in company’s culture.
“The demographics of our workforce in Singapore comprising working parents, millennials and baby boomers, is ever changing and similarly, their working requirements,” said Toh.
“To encourage a family-friendly work culture, the responsibility shouldn’t just lie with the human resource department but it should be championed by the company’s leadership and embraced company-wide. With proper flexible working policies in place, employees can strike a balance in their lives and business continuity measures can also be assured, particularly in times of crisis such as the Zika scare we faced recently in Singapore.”
Closer with collaboration technologies
Findings also revealed the significant impact that technology is having on anywhere working.
A majority (97%) of APAC respondents believed collaboration technologies were important in bringing colleagues closer together, to build relationships and overcome flexible working challenges. Perhaps understandable given the diverse cultural and language differences within Asia Pacific.
For 97% of respondents in Singapore, technology is an important part of their everyday routines, using collaboration solutions to communicate with colleagues and stakeholders, regardless of whether they’re working remotely or not.
C-level executives in Singapore, on the other hand, are more concerned with deploying the right technology to enable anywhere working; 70% of CXOs believe that with the right tools, flexible working challenges will be overcome.
Commenting on the growth in flexible working within Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Zi Ning Chong said, “Across the region, governments and businesses are creating disruptive change to remain competitive in the digital era. The adoption of modern and flexible work styles is important in current working environment.
“Transformational technologies like video collaboration are changing the way we work and live, impacting everything from workspace design, to workflow and office culture. The growth in flexible working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity.