New Work Culture Emerges as World Transitions

New Findings Reveal That the 9-5, Five Day Week is Unlikely to Return

SINGAPORE, Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna's (NYSE:CI) International Markets business has published new figures from its Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study, which highlight that working cultures could permanently change due to the pandemic.

According to Cigna's latest research, carried out in June as part of the Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study which is tracking people's health and well-being around the world throughout the pandemic, 18% of people across the world feel that life will never be the same again, an increase of 5% since April. In Korea, Singapore and the United States, this rose to 38%, 26% and 25% respectively. However, Mainland China remained more confident that the status quo would continue, with only 5% saying the same.

The report measures well-being across key indicators, including physical, social, financial, family and work; the health and wellness scorecard; the virtual health assessment tracker; and opinions on what the new normal will look like.

The 9-5, Five Day Week May be Dead

Currently, 60% of people across the surveyed markets are able to work from home, which has had a major impact on people's attitudes to work culture in the future.

Over half of people (53%) now say they would like to work from home at least half the time in the future, this rose to 67% of people in Singapore, and 56% in Spain and Thailand, as well as 40% of people in Korea. Nearly a quarter (22%) went further, saying they wanted to work from an office no more than 20% of the time.

The appetite for full time office based working is now very low. Less than a quarter of people (23%) want to return to the office full time, with the lowest demand seen in Singapore and Thailand (17%), and Mainland China (19%).

Jason Sadler, President, Cigna International Markets said, "The pandemic has dramatically impacted our working and personal lives. While the office still has a role in terms of building culture and collaboration, the experience of the last few months has demonstrated that home based working can also be highly effective. However, this also brings challenges and employers need to think carefully about how they can support their staff who are working remotely, by checking in with them regularly."

Worries about infection put people off offices and the daily commute

The prospect of a return to physical workplaces is creating new anxieties among employees, 42% said they were concerned about catching the coronavirus because of travel, in-person meetings or common working spaces. This rose to 54% in Singapore and 51% in the UAE, but fell to only 19% in Hong Kong, which saw an increase in cases after this latest survey was completed.

41% said they were concerned about workplace protocols, such as social distancing and the need to wear a face mask, with people in Thailand and Singapore the most worried (47%) and New Zealand, perhaps understandably, least worried at 26%.

Not all employee needs being filled adequately

The report also highlighted the different kinds of support employees would prefer as they return to the workplace, as well as the gap in terms of what support employers are currently offering.

Most employers appear to be taking their responsibilities seriously. Over half (52%) said their employers offer protective and sanitising products, such as facemasks and santiser. This increases to 62% in Mainland China, 58% in Taiwan and 55% in Singapore and New Zealand.

However, 60% of people said they would like subsidies on extra expenses, such as protective and sanitising products, utility bills from working from home, rising to 73% and 71% in air-conditioning reliant UAE and Singapore. Despite this, approximately one in five (19%) said that their employer already had suitable measures in place, although 29% of UAE and 18% of Singapore employers have stepped up to offer this support, compared to only 11% in Hong Kong.

Mental health support was another area that was identified. Although nearly a quarter (24%) said their employers currently offer support, 50% said they would like more. New Zealand (40%) and UAE (34%) employers have led the way with the provision of mental health support, compared to only 15% of Korean and 16% of Hong Kong firms.

Sadler added, "With some markets gradually opening and people returning to the workplace, our findings show that there is still a large gap between expectations and reality. Employees will look to organizations to narrow this gap by providing adequate support where needed and continue building a workplace culture centred around mutual support. As we transition to a new normal, it is key for us to not only continue checking in with one another but also for employers to develop comprehensive well-being programs focused on equipping employees with tools to reduce and manage their stress and anxiety levels."

Cigna offers a range of health and well-being resources to help employers and employees to check-in and support each other in an effective way. This includes advice from financial, HR and mental health experts, creative ideas for staying connected with colleagues, family and friends, and specialist resources to help you create your own stress care plan. These are available here for employers and here for employees. In addition, a wide range of free online mental health support resources are available on Cigna's website.

How the study was conducted:

The Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study is an ongoing study that has been conducted by Cigna, in partnership with Kantar, between January and June 2020, and will continue for the remainder of the year. To date, a total of 16,843 online interviews have been conducted across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

The study was conducted using an online survey, with respondents recruited from online panels and undergo rigorous quality control. Age, gender and residing city quotas were set based on the population proportion of respective markets. The 20 to 25 minutes survey was completed anonymously.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioural health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 170 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

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