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Over half of S'pore workers would consider quitting if made to return to workplace full-time

Younger workers most reluctant to return to the workplace full-time: survey
More than half of Singapore workers will consider quitting if made to return to the workplace full-time. (PHOTO: Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

SINGAPORE — Over half of Singapore workers surveyed said they would consider leaving their jobs if asked to return full-time to the workplace.

A majority of these workers are between the ages of 18 to 44, according to the “People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View” report by ADP Research Institute. In comparison, only around 20 per cent of Singapore workers above 45 years old would contemplate leaving if their employer insist on them returning to the workplace full-time.

The reluctance could be a potential friction point as some industries, such as construction, manufacturing and food and beverage may not be able to implement a hybrid work system, according to the statement by ADP on Monday (4 July). The F&B and retail industries also have a higher reliance on younger workers, as compared to other industries.

The report, which explored employees’ attitudes towards work and their hopes for their future workplace, surveyed 32,924 workers across 17 countries in November last year.

In Singapore, a total of 1,907 workers between 18 and 55 years old and above were polled.

Singapore’s numbers are in line with wider trends reported in the survey, which found that two-thirds of the global workforce polled have already or would consider looking for another job should their employers insist that they return to the workplace full time.

The resistance is most acute amongst workers aged between 18 and 24 years old, with 71 per cent saying they would consider quitting if required to return to their workplace full-time. This compares with 61 per cent of 35- to 44-year-olds and 56 per cent of 45- to 54-year-olds.

A breakdown of respondents who would consider quitting if made to work from office full time.
Younger workers are more likely to quit if asked to work from office full time. (PHOTO: ADP Research Institute)

Career change

The report also conducted surveys in other aspects of work, including how satisfied workers were, and their priorities in their careers.

In Singapore, 75 per cent of respondents have considered a major career change in the last 12 months, This may be due, in part at least, to only one in eight Singaporeans feeling that their job or industry is secure. Around 31 per cent of them described themselves as “very satisfied” with work, while 52 per cent are “somewhat” satisfied.

Compared to other respondents in Asia Pacific, Singapore workers were least satisfied in their current employment and the least optimistic about their workplace in the next five years.

A table showing how satisfied and optimistic Singapore workers are with their work compared to peers in Asia Pacific.
Singapore scored the lowest for job satisfaction and optimism amongst its peers. (PHOTO: ADP Research Institute)

While salary was the key priority in a job across the Asia Pacific region, it is by far the single most important factor for Singapore workers, with 71 per cent ranking it it as the top element. Despite this, only 63 per cent of Singapore staff are likely to ask for a raise if they feel they deserve one.

Around 42 per cent of workers in Singapore rated flexibility of working hours as important, while 32 per cent said that enjoyment of the day’s work is key.

When asked what they expect to achieve in their current companies within the next 12 months, 50 per cent of Singapore workers indicated that they expected to get a pay raise, while 45 per cent are expecting a bonus. Only 31 per cent expect a promotion.

A table showing how many hours Singapore workers think they work for free against other Asia Pacific countries.
Singapore employees think they work 8.4 hours a week on average for free. (PHOTO: ADP Research Institute)

Singapore respondents also felt that they spent 8.4 hours on average a week working for free, which includes working over lunch breaks, and staying past office hours.

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