Study finds less than 20% of Singapore businesses are very prepared for hybrid work

Hybrid may be here to stay, but not all businesses are ready.
PHOTO: Cisco

While recent hybrid work initiatives have resulted in improvements in total employee well-being, work-life balance, and performance in Singapore, only one in five (19 per cent) Singapore employees thought that their company was very prepared for a hybrid work future.

According to the Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022, a global Cisco study of 28,000 employees from 27 countries, including over 1,000 respondents from Singapore, 76 per cent of Singapore workers feel their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office.

Singapore and indeed Asean workers believe that the future of work is hybrid. Nearly three-quarters of employees in Asean (72 per cent) say they want a combination of a remote and in-office hybrid working model in the future, compared to a fully remote (23 per cent) and fully in-office (five per cent) experience.

Improved employee wellbeing

Most Singaporean. workers say working from home has been good for their wellbeing.
PHOTO: Unsplash

More than 80 per cent of Singapore workers said that the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier, with hybrid work improving their total well-being.

Time not spent commuting has led to 82 per cent of Singapore respondents saying that they've saved money in the past year of hybrid work and 72 per cent getting physically fitter with more time to spend exercising.

But it is important to note that with teams being spread out over multiple locations and sometimes countries, issues like inclusivity and team building become essential to work on.

Trust and transparency to drive hybrid work

Concerns over security always remain. 
PHOTO: Unsplash

However, while both Singapore and Asean workers believe that the future of work is hybrid, not everything is rosy.

Unfortunately, more than six in 10 (65 per cent) of Asean respondents believe micromanaging behaviours had increased with hybrid and remote working. Trust from managers that employees can be productive has been a common and critical theme in their working experience.

Anupam Trehan, Senior Director, People & Communities, Cisco, APJC said:

"Trust has become a core tenet in our hybrid work normal, alongside flexibility, and empathetic leadership.

Our latest research indicates that more needs to be done to fully integrate hybrid work arrangements for employees, especially when it comes to building an inclusive culture powered by efficient technology infrastructure in this new world of hybrid working that employees clearly prefer.

Leaders and companies need to commit to actions that go a long way in retaining their people — listening, building trust, and leading with empathy, flexibility, and fairness."

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Beyond management trust, issues like connectivity, networking problems, and security all need to be solved for hybrid work to be a success.

Seven out of 10 (70 per cent) respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly is career-limiting for remote workers. As a result, 87per cent say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience.

But security is still a concern with Proofpoint saying that 44 per cent of chief information security officers (CISOs) in Singapore are seeing more targeted attacks in 2022 since enabling widespread remote working.

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According to their latest 2022 Voice of the CISO report, CISOs in Singapore see cloud account compromise (e.g. Microsoft 365, Google Workspaces) as the second most significant threat targeting their organisation, with the adoption of hybrid working policies the more significant threat.

Even with a reported improvement in cyber preparedness, employee security awareness, and frequency of cyber training, 64 per cent of CISOs in Singapore have a higher risk perception of an imminent attack.

Ransomware is at the top of the threat list with 52 per cent of CISOs in Singapore revealing they had purchased cyber insurance and 48 per cent focusing on prevention over detection and response strategies.

Despite the rising stakes, however, a concerning 56 per cent of CISOs in Singapore admit they have no ransom payment policy in place.

Support from management into getting things working can ease concerns over hybrid working. And empowering workers with the right technology to enable hybrid work is critical to its long-term success.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.