Many reluctant to opt for flexi-work arrangement

Many reluctant to opt for flexi-work arrangement

SINGAPORE - Work-life balance in Singapore has not improved in the past six years, despite efforts to promote it, according to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

There was almost no change in the work-life harmony index - which continues to register only 63 out of a maximum of 100 - between 2006 and this year.

One of the problems highlighted was that not many employees were taking up flexibility measures in the workplace, despite their growing availability.

Out of the 1,650 respondents, only 15 per cent took advantage of flexi-hours, while 7 per cent opted for telecommuting.

Human resources experts said concerns about remuneration and even cultural mindsets could be at play.

Said Mr Andrew Tomich, executive general manager for recruitment company Hudson Singapore: "People might not ask about flexi-hours, afraid they'd be overlooked for a role."

Surveys conducted by Hudson this year highlighted the long hours Singaporeans spent working, with 35 per cent clocking between 51 and 60 hours each week.

Compared with the rest of the Asia-Pacific, burnout rates were also high.

Ms Gwen Lim, human resources division manager at recruitment company Robert Walters Singapore, pointed out that the problem may lie in execution.

Despite the increase in flexible arrangements - useful in talent attraction and retention, especially among Generation Y - "it can still depend on the manager you report to", she said.

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