New Study Exposes Stark Discrepancies in Views on Workplace Flexibility, with Retail Sector Taking the Lead in Mismatch

A report by global employment platform Indeed, titled “Beyond 9 to 5: The Future of Flexibility in Work,” has brought to light a concerning disconnect between employers’ perceptions and employees’ realities when it comes to workplace flexibility. The report, unveiled exclusively at Indeed FutureWorks Singapore among industry HR leaders, spotlights the most pronounced disparity in the retail industry.

Understanding the Divide

While a staggering 83% of employers believe their workplaces are supportive of flexible arrangements, a mere 61% of employees share the same sentiment. Even more striking is the fact that 85% of employees deem flexibility important, soaring above the global average of 66%, underscoring the significance of flexible work options among Singapore’s workforce.

Industry Insights: A Vast Gulf

The retail sector stands at the forefront of this discrepancy, with just 42% of employees feeling that their workplace offers flexibility, a stark contrast to the 80% of employers who think likewise. However, the disparity isn’t exclusive to retail; industries like construction, real estate, hospitality, professional services, and technology also exhibit notable differences in how flexibility is perceived by employees and employers.

Flexibility’s Most-Wanted: Hybrid Dominates

More than 80% of employees wish to continue working from home post-Circuit Breaker

The report unveils that the preferred flexible arrangement among Singaporean employees is the hybrid work model, favored by 42%. Employers predominantly provide hybrid work (48%), flexible hours (44%), and remote work (19%) as flexibility options, mirroring employee preferences to some extent.

Balancing Act: Benefits and Challenges

Flexible work setups come laden with both advantages and challenges. Employers recognize the benefits in terms of staff retention, talent attraction, and heightened productivity. For employees, the top benefits are a better work-life balance and increased productivity. Nevertheless, hurdles include communication difficulties when working remotely and concerns about maintaining a shared team culture.

Navigating the Path Forward

The report underscores the paramount importance of comprehending employees’ needs and preferences to foster an inclusive work culture. It advocates for tailored flexible arrangements that align with the aspirations of both parties. With mutual recognition of flexibility’s significance, workplaces can embark on a journey that attracts, retains, and empowers talent, generating positive outcomes for both employees and businesses.

In the words of Karthik Sudhakar, Strategy & Operations Lead at Indeed Singapore, “Flexible work arrangements can be beneficial for both employers and employees, but it’s important to get alignment on what works best for each party. Employees should be able to take advantage of flexible work without being penalized, and employers should prioritize flexibility to attract and retain talent. Ultimately, the right flexible work arrangement is one that meets the needs of both the employee and the employer.”

The “Beyond 9 to 5: The Future of Flexibility in Work” report premieres exclusively at Indeed FutureWorks Singapore. This event, an integral part of Indeed’s flagship global series, explores the transformative shifts shaping the future of work, fostering collaboration among diverse thinkers, visionary leaders, and global peers, all united in their commitment to enhancing the world of work.

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