Ushering into 2021 employers are optimistic, workers resilient: Indeed

  • Indeed Global Survey shows Singaporeans cautious but resilient 
  • Profound changes in work practices likely to become permanent 
  • Workers want stability and security as companies expect muted job market

Research from the world’s number one job site Indeed has shown that Singaporean workers are seeking security and stability after a year that saw the labour market disrupted by the impact of COVID-19. 

For their part employers are grateful to the people who kept their business afloat during the pandemic. Eighty percent of Singapore employers polled by Indeed for their 2020 Global Survey said employees pulling together over the year helped their company to weather the crisis. 

Employers are optimistic about business continuity, with more than three in four saying their business is prepared to implement COVID safety measures in their workplace. 

But we may not see a wholesale return to the office, as almost seven in ten employers are planning to implement improved flexible work options for workers in 2021. More than half – 57 percent – say that a greater emphasis on health, hygiene and safety will be a permanent fixture in the post-COVID workplace. 

Employees and businesses alike agree that the line between life and work has blurred – indicating that what used to be referred to as “work-life balance” is rapidly becoming a work-life blend. One in two employers (47 percent) agree that the lines between work and life for most employees in Singapore have become permanently blurred”. The same number of employees agreed with the statement. 

Employees will be seeking safety and security in the coming year, with four in five (79 percent) saying that secure, stable employment is one of their top priorities for 2021. 

One in three workers – 36 percent – said they open to new work opportunities, but not actively looking for another job. The number one reason that most Singaporean workers would change jobs is for a higher salary, with 58 percent saying they would only switch jobs if the new role was better paid. 

One impact of the abrupt shift to remote work in 2020 was an increase in family time, with one in two employees saying “more time with family” had the biggest impact on their personal circumstances in 2021. 

Only one in three employees are pessimistic about the job market in 2021, but only three in ten employers are optimistic, signalling a possible mismatch of expectations between hirers and jobseekers in the coming year. A significant minority – 16 percent – of companies are planning for rapid growth, saying that they plan to hire at higher volumes than before the pandemic. 

Indeed APAC’s Sabrina Zolkifi said the research showed the resilience of Singaporean business and the local workforce. 

“What we are seeing from this research is that companies are grateful to their people for helping them weather the storm during an incredibly disruptive year. 

“The data shows that some of the changes that have been wrought during 2020 will be lasting, with both employers and workers eyeing greater flexibility in work methods and placing a new emphasis on health and hygiene. Workers are saying they will only shift jobs if there’s a superior offer for them, with stability and security the priorities after a turbulent year.” 

The Indeed Global Survey measured the sentiment of 3600 employers and 14,142 the UK, US, Ireland, Australia, India, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and Canada between November 13 and November 20 in 2020.

This included 250 employers and 1003 employees in Singapore. The research was conducted by Censuswide. 

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