SG Employees Not Sure About Returning

Photo credit: iStockphoto/espix

The next phase of the circuit breaker is here, and employees are returning to their workplaces in Singapore. But if a recent survey is right, a quarter of them are feeling very anxious about their safety.

According to the Pulse of the Singapore Workforce Survey, 27% do not feel safe returning. They fear a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, compliance with new social distancing and other health measures, and the need to take responsibility for complying with these measures.

Seventy-five percent of employees want social distancing to be observed for at least the next six months. Twenty-one percent think it should at least be a year. A significant 9% want it permanent.

Engagement plays a pivotal role in the attitudes. More than half (59%) of engaged employees are confident in the future of their organization compared to 21% for less engaged employees.

Among these engaged employees, 96% agree or strongly agree that they are confident about the organization’s future. It also reduces stress levels, with 35% of engaged employees reporting normal stress levels versus 12% who are less engaged employees.

“The economic health of the organisation depends on the physical health of their employees and it is imperative that companies aim for a zero-infection rate through continuous improvement of their workflows and adoption of technology to enable their employees to work in a safe environment. This is a possible outcome and organisations must work collectively,” says Alvin Goh, Executive Director of Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI).

Returning to the workplace and WFH measures both pose unique and distinct challenges to organizations and their employees. Here, the survey highlights the need for HR leaders and CHROs to take the lead in improving employees’ resilience and well-being and helping them overcome their fears or concerns regardless of where they work. 

“The New Normal introduces new workplace and talent challenges for leaders. To make this new normal work, organisations will have to rethink how they connect and interact with their employees. Developing and maintaining a culture of belonging in this new configuration, will require new talent management approaches and skills,” says Leong Chee Tung, chief executive officer and co-founder of EngageRocket. 

Photo credit: iStockphoto/espix