70% of Singaporeans respond to work messages out of office hours: Recruitment agency

A survey by recruitment agency Michael Page found that 70 per cent of respondents responded to work calls and e-mails outside of office hours.
A survey by recruitment agency Michael Page found that 70 per cent of respondents responded to work calls and e-mails outside of office hours.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

SINGAPORE - Eight in 10 Singaporeans are happy with their work-life balance, according to a survey by recruitment agency Michael Page.

The agency's Singapore Work Happy Survey 2019 looked at different aspects of work and how happy employees are. The firm surveyed 1,328 professionals in Singapore who are of various job levels.

The survey found that 70 per cent of respondents responded to work calls and e-mails outside of office hours. Eighty-four per cent of them said they do so because they have responsibilities that require them to be contactable.

But half of the people surveyed felt that work devices positively impact their work-life balance, as they provide opportunities for flexible work arrangements. In total, eighty per cent said they are happy with their work-life balance.

Michael Page Singapore managing director Nilay Khandelwal said companies who can enable their employees to optimise work-life balance by implementing policies or providing the necessary tools are more likely to attract new talent.

"Work-life balance is an essential consideration for all professionals in Singapore. Success at work is now defined by what you can achieve both in and out of the office," he said.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents said a flexible work environment is important because it gives them better work-life balance. Thirty-nine per cent said such an environment makes them more productive at work, while 6 per cent said it allows them more family time.

On whether employees are always "on" at work, the survey found that 59 per cent chat on messaging apps with family and friends, while 46 per cent spend time talking to colleagues on personal matters.

 
 
 
 

Thirty-one per cent of those surveyed also spend time at the office searching for information for personal reasons, while 25 per cent use social media and 20 per cent send personal e-mails.

But employees are still largely productive, with 91 per cent spending less than an hour a day on personal matters while in the office.

On the issue of work connectivity, 86 per cent of respondents said they have received a device from work, and the type of device included laptops (47 per cent), smartphones (30 per cent) and tablets (9 per cent).

Twenty-nine per cent said they also used these devices for personal matters.

On how much time people spend on the work commute, 90 per cent said they spend an hour or less travelling to work daily.

Forty-six per cent of respondents said they regard the commute to work as an important factor when considering a new job, signalling that office location could play a large part in whether or not a job offer is accepted.