May 11, 2020

EngageRocket, in partnership with the Institute for HR Professionals (IHRP) and the Singapore HR Institute (SHRI) conducted a “Pulse of the Singapore Workforce” survey to gather insights into how employees and organisations are coping with telecommuting, since Covid-19 is having a profound effect on the world of work. Here are the key insights from the survey:

Employees view WFH as desirable but it imposes a tax on productivity

– 80% of employees wish to continue working from home half their time or more post-circuit breaker while 10% do not want to work from home after the circuit breaker.

– But more than 4 in 10 (​46%) ​report lower productivity, taking more time to achieve the same as before. Younger employees are less likely to have their productivity affected by working from home: 40% of younger workers, aged 21 to 30 years old indicated that they are less productive than before working from home, compared to 49% for employees who are aged 40 to 53 years old.

– The main challenges faced by workers with low productivity are: 1. Practical aspects such as family presence, distractions and space constraints (22%) 2. Working longer hours than usual (22%) 3. Inability to access resources and tools that they could have in the office (21%)

“​These are early days yet and we will need to see the results over a longer period. However, beyond doubt, Covid-19 will have a profound impact on the future of work. For instance, it has ended the debate whether or not companies should offer telecommuting. The next step for many companies, however, is to couple this flexibility with employee engagement programmes that helps to alleviate the productivity challenges​,” commented Mayank Parekh, CEO of IHRP.

Mental health and stress are taking a toll on employees

– A quarter of workers report more stress, mostly driven by concerns around: the health and economic impact on the country (67%), that their productivity and performance will be impacted due to working from home (64%) and the possibility that a member of their family might contract Covid-19 (57%).

“​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. Thus, with the preliminary results, there is a greater need to focus and assist our workforce in overcoming the pressures that they currently face,”​ ​s​hared Alvin Goh, Executive Director at SHRI.

Engaged employees are more confident of and committed working towards the company’s success in a crisis

– Among Promoters, 95% agree or strongly agree that they are confident about the future of their organisation

– During crises like this, strong leadership and communication are critical. 94% of Promoters report being well-taken care of by their organisation, along with 88% of them reporting that they have strong management support. 95% of promoters also indicated that their organisation communicates with them effectively throughout the ongoing pandemic.

Engaging employees now is critical for post-Covid-19 recovery

Measuring employee engagement and workforce attitudes are ​a business imperative​, even during an economic downturn or a crisis. ​Research shows that engaged employees are more likely to actively participate in crisis management to support and benefit the organisation. High-performing and high-potential employees will be the key to any company’s recovery.

Employers have to take action now to ensure that these business-critical employees do not resign when the job market stabilises.