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With offices shut amid lockdowns and circuit breakers, many of Singapore‘s business professionals became used to working from home. According to a survey by Lark and Milieu, that arrangement is set to last much longer than the pandemic period.

With the country in Phase 3 of its pandemic response and previous restrictions relaxed, Singaporean employers are keen to offer flexible work arrangements for the long-term and ensure that the right collaboration tool is in place to foster a positive work environment.

“Singapore organizations are faced with a growing interest in flexible work arrangements and must find ways to adapt and integrate these practices into work routines, or they will see a decrease in employee satisfaction,“ said Joey Lim, the vice-president of commercial for Asia at Lark.

“It is understandable that one major concern about this type of arrangement is the impact on team collaboration. With a dispersed workforce, and the option to work remotely, more employees are relying on collaboration tools to communicate, connect, and at the end of the day, get the job done.“

What does the survey say?

  • 94% of PMEs want flexible work arrangements to stay, which means organizations need to ensure that flexible work is the default work set-up and should ensure employees are supported.

  • However, only one-in-five professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) are ‘very satisfied‘ with their current remote and online collaboration work setup. Half are ‘somewhat satisfied‘ while the rest are neutral (22%) or ‘dissatisfied‘ (11%).

  • The disparity suggests a mismatch in satisfaction levels between those in senior and junior roles. Company decision makers (director level and above) skewed higher (40%) v the total respondents (25%) when stating that their team ‘is very well adapted‘ to using collaboration tools.

  • The rise of remote collaboration means Singapore PMEs use these features for up to half of their day: video meetings (94%), file search (90%) and messaging (80%). One-in-five PMEs noted that messaging takes up more than 50% of their workday.

  • Seven in 10 PMEs agreed that having one tool to support all their needs is essential in making work more enjoyable, highlighting the need for organizations to look at collaboration tools beyond just the purpose of work productivity.

  • 64% stated they felt the right collaboration tool makes their work easier, followed by 60% who stated it makes them more productive. 39% stated having the right tools can make work more enjoyable – a sentiment shared across all age groups but most strongly felt among the millennial generation (25-39 years old).