SINGAPORE: Singapore has one of the highest percentages of employees working from home, with companies embracing work—life harmony as a way to improve productivity and employee retention.
According to a survey by a Singapore specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half, 87 per cent of Singapore employers allow their staff to work from home, compared to the global average of 79 per cent.
Only Hong Kong (94 per cent) and Switzerland (94 per cent) have a higher percentage of employees allowed to work from home, while Italy (45 per cent) and Chile (38 per cent) have the lowest percentage of employees allowed to telecommute.
The survey of 1,777 Human Resources Directors covered 13 countries and included 100 respondents from Singapore.
In Singapore, 91 per cent of public sector employees have the opportunity to work from home, compared to 88 per cent of employees of private companies and 83 per cent of employees of publicly listed companies.
Those companies that never or only occasionally allow work from home have their reasons such as for security concerns (53 per cent), or because the job requires a physical presence (55 per cent).
Forty—eight per cent of these companies have reservations that employees will not perform to their capacity due to a lack of supervision.
While the vast majority of companies allow employees to work from home occasionally, what is more significant is the number of companies that have a policy in place that facilitates and formalises the right of employees to work from home.
In Singapore, 60 per cent of companies have a formal policy in place to manage employees who work remotely, compared to a global average of 47 per cent.
Ms Stella Tang, a director at Robert Half Singapore, said employers have responded to the battle to retain talent by offering flexible work arrangements to existing and prospective employees.
Ms Tang said: "There are many benefits to embracing the practice of working from home. Employers benefit from having more motivated employees who are better able to manage their personal commitments. Companies also save on infrastructure and associated office costs.
"Offering the opportunity to work from home is an attractive way to attract and retain talent. For professionals with family commitments who cannot commit to working in an office full—time, the option to work from home allows them to contribute their skills and continue with their career."
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