Singapore workers weigh in on gig economy

by Nurhuda Syed24 Apr 2018

The gig economy is gaining traction in pockets of the Singapore workforce in Singapore, with age proving to be the main differentiator of attitudes and behaviour.

A study has found that Gen Z jobseekers in Singapore are keener than their older counterparts to embrace the gig economy. 

Two-thirds of Gen Z jobseekers agreed that more workers will pursue temporary employment over permanent full-time positions. This is 30 percentage points higher than respondents from other age groups, found PERSOLKELLY.

Flexibility was the most compelling reason for workers to join the gig economy – 66% said it was the key factor for pursuing a contracting role.

“Gen Z workers in Singapore are more receptive to the gig economy as it gives them access to more varied or interesting work, a greater sense of agency in their careers, and the opportunity to connect with new people,” said Foo See Yang, managing director and country head, Singapore at Kelly Services.

However, while the gig economy can appear to benefit both workers and organisations, the survey revealed that Singapore respondents have one of the region’s most negative perceptions towards the gig economy.

Just under half (48%) of respondents expressed that they are worried that organisations would face workforce integration challenges. Another 39% also expressed concerns that workers may lose their protections.

Currently, less than half believe that jobseekers are seeking contractual roles over traditional full-time ones, suggesting that the shift away from permanent roles is not yet prevalent here.

Notably, Gen Z respondents had a more optimistic view of the gig economy, with the top expected impact a positive one – 49% of Gen Z respondents predicted increased employee satisfaction and productivity as the top impact, higher than the average of 38%.

Workforce integration difficulties was the second highest impact. This suggests that while Gen Z workers recognise the hurdles towards implementing a gig economy, they value the benefits associated with free agent roles just as much.

While the move towards a gig economy is not yet entrenched in Singapore, it is gaining traction in certain parts of the region.

Hong Kong has most embraced the trend, with 55% of its workers agreeing that there is a preference for more flexible employment. Vietnam (50%), Thailand (48%) are close behind. Singapore had just missed the top three slots with 47%.

 

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