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Most employees keen to continue working from home after Covid-19 : Survey

An ongoing survey has found that 90 per cent of employees here wish to continue working from home in some capacity after the circuit breaker ends.

Across some 2,700 respondents as of April 28, 10 per cent said they would want to continue working from home for a quarter of their usual working time.

Thirty-five per cent said they would want to work from home for half of the time, and another 33 per cent said they would want to do so for three-quarters of the time.

Only 12 per cent said they want to continue working from home all the time. The remaining 10 per cent do not want to continue working from home at all.

The survey is conducted by Engagerocket, an employee engagement and performance software provider, in partnership with the Singapore HR Institute (SHRI) and the Institute for HR Professionals.

They designed a package of questionnaires that companies can use to gain a sense of their employees’ well-being, with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of work-from-home arrangements. The package is found on Engagerocket’s website and is available free to all Singapore-registered companies until June 1.

Since the survey started on April 13, 435 companies have signed up for the package, with responses from more than 2,700 employees. The results of the survey are updated daily on Engagerocket’s website.

Despite employees’ willingness to continue working from home, almost half of the respondents report a fall in their productivity while doing so.

The reasons given for this lower productivity are equally split among the practical aspects of working from home such as the presence of family members, having to work longer hours than usual, and an inability to access resources that they would otherwise have in the office.

Mr Leong Chee Tung, chief executive and co-founder of Engagerocket, noted that as Singapore nears the halfway mark of the circuit breaker, employees seem to have adapted to working from home and are keen to continue with the arrangements.

Efforts to bolster productivity and engagement while meeting this new demand will be “an important differentiator in the talent war” after the pandemic passes, he added.

The survey also shows that the pandemic has affected employees’ mental well-being, with 26 per cent of all respondents saying that their stress levels are higher than normal.

The main reasons for this are their worries over the economic and health impacts of Covid-19, the risk of a family member getting infected, and concerns that working from home will negatively affect their productivity and performance.

Mr Alvin Goh, executive director at SHRI, said this indicates a greater need for companies to assist employees in overcoming the pressures they currently face.

“Mental health plays an important role in the way we deal with stress, how we relate to others, and the decisions we make in our daily lives. Without positive mental health, it will be almost impossible to realise one’s full potential, work productively, or handle the stress that comes with life,” he said.

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