The surprising dark side of flexi-work

by Nurhuda Syed27 Jul 2018

Eight in 10 employees in Singapore prefer flexible work arrangements as it allows them to maintain a good work-life balance, according to Randstad.

Despite the increasing demand for flexible work arrangements, more than half of the employees said that they believe the 'f'eedom' will actually interfere with their personal lives, by increasing demands to be on-call.

Across the four Asian markets, Singapore workers have the most freedom to decide for themselves, where, when and how they want to do their work.

Three in four employees in Singapore have the flexibility to work from home and outside of stipulated business hours.

The flexibility to work at an offsite location is popular among Singaporeans, as 87% said that having the autonomy at work increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.

However, as more companies provide employees with digital devices such as smartphones and laptops, workers in Singapore may feel compelled to be “always-on” and are not always sure how and when to disconnect.

About 56% of the employees felt that they are unable to disconnect from work. Women workers in Singapore are less likely to feel that agile working has interfered with their personal life as compared to men.

“Employees in Singapore are known to be hard workers and often clock long hours at work,” said Jaya Dass, managing director at Randstad Singapore.

“There is also a risk of presenteeism, which is mistakenly accepted as having a commendable work attitude. Unfortunately, this behaviour impacts workplace productivity and business profitability.

“Digital devices should not cause any unnecessary stress and employers who entrust their staff with the flexibility to work outside of the office at a time that works best for them are encouraged to respect employees’ working hours.”

What are you doing to help employees strike a balance? Tell us in the comments below.


Related stories:
Singapore employers warm up to flexi-work
Singaporean workers are quitting in pursuit of this incentive


  • by Steph 6/8/2018 11:06:44 AM

    While being online 24/7 is not an expectation, because we are easily reachable, managers can send quick messages to drive action on their end. As employees, we can do several different things:
    1) set the expectation - are you supposed to be online on specific times of the day because you certainly aren't supposed to be working 24 hours
    2) is the action required of you a priority or an immediate need? If you receive messages in the weekend, think about whether anybody else, apart from the person messaging you, is going to receive the information and read through it. Sometimes we set such a high standard for ourselves when it's not necessary or even a priority
    3) practice mindfulness. It's important to be present for whatever it is you're doing. If you're answering emails, then answer emails. If you're having family time, then try not to think about work. It takes a lot of practice to be mindful and it pays off once you've gotten used to it.
    4) turn off your notifications. You don't necessarily have to disconnect from the world if you want to disconnect from work. You simply have to ignore specific notifications. If you can't, then you have the option to uninstall any apps that may lead to you being overworked.
    5) be respectful of your time and the time of the person you're spending it with.

Most Read