Less than a third of Singapore workers would move overseas for the right job, survey finds

Singapore employees do not like to leave their nest, going by the findings of an annual global survey of worker preferences.

Only 29 per cent of workers in Singapore would move to another country for the right job, the Kelly Global Workforce Index reported on Tuesday.

The study surveyed about 230,000 people across 31 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

Of the Singapore workers who are willing to relocate, 36 per cent would prefer somewhere within the Asia Pacific.

Overall, the preferred destination for those working in the Asia Pacific to relocate is Europe (33 per cent), followed by other parts of Asia Pacific (26 per cent), North America (17 per cent), Middle East (5 per cent), South America (2 per cent) and Africa (1 per cent).

According to the latest Kelly index also, 55 per cent of workers in Singapore would consider giving up higher pay for the opportunity to learn new skills, 45 per cent for a more flexible schedule and 57 per cent for a better work-life balance.

Singapore's scores, however, are lower compared to two-thirds of employees in the Asia Pacific region who say they would consider sacrificing higher pay or career advancement for the opportunity to learn new skills, 65 per cent for improved work-life balance, 48 per cent for a more flexible work schedule, and 37 er cent for the chance to perform more socially conscious work.

"While pay is a key driver of employee attraction and retention, the survey shows that workers in Singapore also value their professional growth and personal fulfilment, and are willing to make sacrifices to achieve them," said Mark Hall, vice president and managing director of Kelly Services Singapore.

In terms of geographic footprint, 62 per cent of people in the Asia Pacific region would prefer to work for a global company. Only 14 per cent wanted to work for a national or regional firm, while 23 per cent had no preference.

As for company size, two-thirds prefer large or mid-sized firms, while only 8 prefer prefer small businesses.

There is also a strong preference for employers with an established track record, and a reluctance to work for start-up businesses and 'micropreneurs'.

When it comes to management style, 62 per cent of employees in Asia Pacific strongly prefer collaboration and 60 per cent value flexible work arrangements. Least appealing are firms with highly individualised structures and traditional 'nine-to-five' schedules.