4 in 10 Singapore workers would give up bigger bonus for remote working: Survey

This is likely due to various benefits employees experienced while working remotely, such as saving time and money. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - After working from home for close to two years, 41 per cent of workers in Singapore would rather continue working remotely than receive a bigger bonus, a survey by human resources solutions agency Randstad found.

This is likely due to various benefits these employees experienced while working remotely, such as saving time and money from commuting, having more personal time and higher productivity, said Ms Jaya Dass, managing director for Singapore and Malaysia at Randstad.

Among the respondents, at least 80 per cent received a salary increment in 2022, with 9 per cent of these employees seeing a pay rise of more than 20 per cent.

Half of the respondents also said they will receive a bonus in 2022, with 43 per cent of this group anticipating a bonus payout averaging one to three months, excluding a 13th month bonus.

This compares with the findings of Randstad's 2019 survey, conducted before Covid-19, which saw 83 per cent of anticipating a bonus that year. Of this group, 69 per cent anticipated bonus payouts averaging one to two months.

Randstad's 2022 Salary and Bonus Expectations survey was conducted online from Feb 7 to 14 and collected responses from 300 employees based in Singapore.

The survey, whose results were released on Tuesday (March 15), aims to highlight how employers are rewarding their workers following a year of economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency said.

Of the respondents who said they will be receiving a bonus, one in four believes he or she will receive a bonus of less than a month, while 12 per cent said they will get a bonus of seven months or more.

The 65 per cent of employees expecting bonuses also said they are satisfied enough to stay with the company for the next six months.

Ms Dass said employers must be willing to share their profits to retain valued employees amid "this great resignation or great reshuffling stage of the pandemic".

"Talent with in-demand skills in this candidate-short market have a strong negotiating power to request higher salaries and will likely look for a new employer if their current boss is unable to meet their expectations," she said.

She also believes it is critical for employees to adjust work policies and benefits schemes to meet the changing expectations of employees and candidates.

Noting employees' preference for working away from the office, she said: "Employers that intend to make hybrid work a permanent feature of their workforce culture after the pandemic should also start to roll out policies as soon as they can to retain their workforce."

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