Is Singapore a place that offers attractive flexi-work?
As flexible working slowly starts to become a standard benefit for many jobs, the amount of people regularly working from home has also increased significantly. In Singapore, it was found that 60% of employees work remotely every week, and almost 50% do so for least half the week according to International Workplace Group (IWG).
Traditional finance firms are realising this growing trend and must evolve to continue attracting young talent, who may choose the organisation with a more innovative and flexible structure. In particular, these firms are facing strong competition from the technology sector, especially fintech startups who adopt far more agile and flexible working styles.
We spoke to 2 of our consultants, Koh Jing How and Divya Balan from Huxley Singapore to find out how home working can be beneficial to both employer and employee. And more importantly, why organisations should learn to adapt to a more flexible working structure.
Is flexible working a start-up culture?
Divya, who works closely with clients within the tech sector shared, “Start-ups work at a quick and agile pace – they typically hire candidates that can produce results in a high-pressure environment within a short period of time. A lot of trust is put into hiring candidates that can be efficient and require little to no micro-managing. As such, working from home isn’t an uncommon scenario for start-up folks.”
Jing How added, “While flexibility is being offered as an incentive by a lot of companies across the financial sector, and particularly within start-ups, whether it’s being taken up or not still depends on the personality of the employees. Some would prefer a more structured working environment, while some don’t. With technology advancement, and given the opportunities it brings about, the gap however is closing in between working from home vs working in an office setting.”
Above all else, home working keeps costs down across the board. Obviously, if an employee is working from home, this significantly reduces the cost of running an office. An empty desk means an employer can save on cost and potentially afford to invest in additional labour, maximising business opportunities. Furthermore, if enough people are permanently working remotely, this offers potential for employers to reduce the overall cost of office space.
A Chinese travel website called Ctrip conducted a study into remote working, allowing employees to work from home for nine months. It’s estimated the company saved an average of $1,900 per employee on furniture and space.
Productivity when working from home
The study by Ctrip didn’t just showcase monetary savings, but also highlighted increased productivity, with people working from home completing 13.5% more calls than those working in the office. This essentially meant Ctrip got an extra working day out of those working from home.
An office environment can come with a lot of distraction and therefore productivity can actually be maximised when working remotely. Many may not choose to work from home all of the time but, for a lot of people, a balance between the home and office can provide the perfect working environment.
According to Divya, “It all boils down to trust and communication between the employee and employer. If effective communication and clear goals are set in place, there is nothing stopping an employee from being just as productive at home as they are in the office. Subjectively, a change of environment between the home and office could possibly generate better working practices and keep employees motivated; which in turns increases overall productivity within a team.”
Jing How also mentioned, “Home working isn’t necessarily for everyone. For people management, it can be important to be with your team and lead from the front; that being said, occasional remote working is also more manageable. However, for many it is possible to conduct their duties remotely. But this is absolutely down to the individual, the company they’re working for and the task they’re performing.”
The importance of benefits
Jing How said, “I think it’s important to be given the option of flexible work. In this way, employees would feel that the company cares of their wellbeing and work life balance. It also empowers employees and shows that they are trusted to work independently.” Jing How noted.
Along the same train of thought, Divya too mentioned “Work-life balance is widely appreciated across all industries – so candidates would feel greater satisfaction if they had the choice to work from home. Enabling employees to be autonomous also directly impacts their self-management and developmental skills that could be necessary in succeeding within the business.”
At Huxley, we work with a range of companies offering a variety of flexible working options. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, visit our job search to find out more. Alternatively, if you’re looking to grow your team and want to find the right candidate for your organisation, get in touch today.