Future Work

I'll quit! Five new data points about Hybrid Work in Singapore.

FlexOS report on hybrid work in Singapore reveals employee preferences, importance of office collaboration, and trends in workplace engagement.

A few days ago, FlexOS released a report in collaboration with our partner Plug and Play about the current state of hybrid work in Singapore.

While you can read the full report here, I thought I'd use this newsletter to send you a summary of the key findings.

1. Singaporean hybrid workers refuse to go back to the office full-time

As you might have realized, especially since you are subscribing to this weekly newsletter, flexible working models are taking over companies worldwide instead of the traditional 9-to-5 office work.

From Airbnb's commitment to fully remote work to Apple's hybrid work model, major changes are being made to the world's largest companies as employees increasingly seek more flexibility and well-being at work.

And once employees have tasted the benefits of hybrid work, it's hard to put the genie back into the bottle. Of Singaporean employees currently practicing hybrid work, more than half (52%) would quit their jobs if they no longer had this privilege.

This number goes up even further for Millennials (25-34), where 57% say they would quit without a hybrid working option. These insights make it clear that companies and employees have good reasons to be in the office; asking employees to come back entirely is at the companies' peril.

2. It's all about people: collaboration and socializing

The most significant pull factor that offices can offer employees is consistent: human connections.

In my previous newsletters, I've repeatedly stressed that most hybrid workers go to the office for social connections; both socializing and collaborating.

Fully remote work can negatively affect employees' well-being, specifically mental health, due to a lack of human connections. Hybrid work offers the sweet spot where employees can still see their work friends and culturally specific communities in the office.

While working from home has many benefits, employees in Singapore still have good reasons to return to the office. Amongst all options, collaboration (1), doing focused work (2), and socializing with colleagues (3) were ranked the highest.

Interestingly, Gen Z (18-24) wants to be in the office for on-the-job learning so they can get direct feedback. This makes sense, given that about 80% of learning happens by shadowing others – something that's hard to do at home.

On the other hand, millennials (25-34) come to the office for the right environment and vibe to work more than other age groups.

3. Employee engagement works to drive footfall

As shared above, human connection, which happens organically in a 9-to-5 office culture, needs to be more 'designed' in the hybrid workplace. Employers wondering how to attract employees back into the office should look no further than workshops.

Our research shows that 67% of hybrid workers in Singapore would be motivated to come to the office for social, creative, well-being, and training workshops, especially when those workshops are for small groups of like-minded colleagues, or in other words, their "community."

Get-togethers can also come in team lunches, coffee breaks, co-working sessions, and other group activities organized by managers. Get-togethers such as team lunches, coffee breaks, co-working sessions, and other group activities organized by managers (53%) closely follow workshops.

Knowing that their favorite colleagues are in on a certain day is the reason to return to the office for 45% of employees.

The motivators listed above are true across all age groups, except for 54+, for whom face-to-face work meetings would be the primary motivation to come in.

4. Your team wants to get involved

No matter what changes in the world of work, people still want to belong. Those who say they feel like they belong are three times more likely to feel people look forward to coming to work and five times more likely to want to stay at their company for a long time.

But as I said before, building a great culture and gaining that sense of belonging can't be a "job for HR." Culture, connection, and community must become a shared mission for the entire organization.

Good news! Our research shows that 90% of Singaporean employees want to take an active role and create small events like lunches or doing something fun after work to ensure the team stays connected.

Of these employees, 58% would do it without any reward, whereas 42% think getting rewarded for taking the initiative would be motivating. Especially Gen Z and Millennials say they'd do that, but only if their employer rewarded them.

5. Fear of missing out is real

As Lewis Garrad, a partner at Mercer Singapore, told us recently: "FOMO can be a big driver for teams to come to the office." Our research confirms that observation.

60% of employees say that when they work from home, they have experienced fear of missing out on what's happening in the office. This number can be as high as 69% for the 35-44 age group.

Especially in companies where these social moments get shared liberally on internal messaging platforms like Teams or Slack, people may feel left out. That is a good insight for employee engagement and employer branding experts who work within the People Team to drive connection, community, and culture by bringing people back together.

In short: hybrid is here to stay, and we CAN make it work.

Hybrid work may still raise many questions internally in your organization. I hear it every day. Remember that no one truly has it figured out. Keep trying, keep measuring, and keep improving!

From the State of Hybrid Work in Singapore Research, it's clear that investing in the Employee Experience and Company Culture makes a lot of sense.

Even as we're trying to tighten our belts ahead of the new year, attrition remains much more expensive than any investment into the great teams we have now.

Keep going – and reach out for help when and where you need it.

Have a great hybrid work ahead!


Share this post

All articles about

Future Work

FlexOS helps you stay ahead in the future of work.

These are our latest articles.
FlexOS - Level Up Your Remote Leadership Game

Stay Ahead in the Future of Work

Join over
 35,000 people-centric leaders 
to stay on top of trends in AI, Remote Work, and Future Leadership.

Stay ahead with FlexOS!