Why Work Life Balance Is a Concern for HR Teams in Singapore

The Singaporean market is running strong, attracting the best talent from around the world. Last year was the fourth consecutive year that Singapore was ranked as the number one country for expats, according to the HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey. Singapore scored highly across a range of factors, including political and economic stability, family experience, culture, safety, and healthcare.

Surveying 163 markets worldwide, Singapore is well regarded and recognised especially for the quality childcare and education system, making it an attractive environment for families.

While there are many things going for the country, there is a growing concern for both expats and locals working in Singapore, namely towards the lack of work life balance. In the same survey, those who work full-time noted that the work-life balance is same or worse that it was back home, and close to half of the respondents said that they experienced higher stress levels at work in Singapore than in their home market.

Unfortunately, this experience was also true for local Singaporeans, as a poll by NGO Families For Life, reported that half of over 1,265 respondents pointed to the balancing act as their toughest challenge.

What’s on the Line for Singaporean Businesses?

While Singapore has proven itself to be a great environment for families thanks to it’s childcare and education system, if the problem in Singapore concerning work life balance continues to rise, it is likely that people with families will for the same reason start choosing other markets.

A poll done by CIPHR found that 75% of working parents were suffering from stress and anxiety as a result of their work life balance management. 53% of respondents from the 1,400 survey of parents in work found that they felt judged by manager and colleague for trying to balance their work and family commitments, this proportion of people who felt judged was higher for parent with more children.

The problems caused by a lack of work life balance and workplace wellness doesn’t stop on the individual level however, in fact it stems onto the corporate level.

In Singapore, according to a study conducted by Aon, it’s reported that only 51% of employers have emotional and psychological wellness programmes in place, while up to 72% of employers in Singapore felt that productivity was affected by the issue of stress and mental health. Alarmingly though, regardless of the consensus on the need for emotional and psychological wellness programmes, a whopping 38% have no intention of implementing such schemes in the future.

As people in Singapore puts more value on work life balance, businesses will be pressured to do more in order to retain their best talent. In Singapore, the problem is already becoming more apparent, however, as work life balance becomes a turnover problem that threatens a business’ competitive edge, it may be too late for some corporations to make changes without losing people to competing organisations.

Moving Forward in Singapore – Driving Results with HR Function

With the gradual shift in expectations as people in Singapore put more weight on the need for work life balance and as the link between workplace wellness and performance become more evident, there will be a greater demand on HR teams to create a better environment for their employees.

Obviously the road to achieving work life balance should not fall solely on any one party. For companies and individuals to succeed in creating a healthy work life balance, both individuals and businesses will need to play a part.

To help individuals and corporations better achieve work life balance, we will be publishing a holistic guide in the coming week, ‘4 Simple Steps to Achieving Work Life Balance’, to continue the discussion around achieving work life balance at the workplace. In it we will include practical ways of how to achieve work life balance, including ways like simplify, automate, and delegate. Subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss out on any of our latest articles and HR insights.

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