SINGAPORE: The line between work and personal life is fast blurring, with increasing workplace connectivity and higher expectations from bosses keeping more workers connected to work at all times.
According to Robert Half's latest Workplace Survey, 69 per cent of Singapore employees tune into work when they are out of the office or on holiday, higher than the regional average of 66 per cent.
Reasons cited by Singapore respondents include the need to be available in case of an emergency at work (66 per cent) and filtering through work emails to ensure less stress when returning to the office (60 per cent), suggesting rising work pressures.
The survey also noted a high level of employee dedication, or "workaholism".
Many claimed they preferred to stay on top of work issues even when on holiday (45 per cent), believing they should be available at all times as they are using a company mobile phone (29 per cent) or simply finding it impossible to "switch off" (25 per cent).
59 per cent of respondents also cited technological advancements allowing access to work information from anywhere in the world as a key reason.
Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore and Japan Tim Hird said the phenomenon of 24/7 workplace access made possible by technological advancements has led to hyper-connectivity and faster turnaround time, which is undoubtedly an advantage for businesses in this competitive world.
However, the pervasiveness of constant work connectivity also result in the erosion of personal space, higher stress levels and overall decline in the quality of life for employees.
He said employers need to be realistic in their expectations to avoid overloading their staff and negatively affecting employees' morale and work productivity.
Indeed, the survey found a strong correlation between employees' workplace connectivity and employers' expectations, with a substantial 96 per cent of Singapore employers expecting employees to be available or contactable while on leave or during out-of-office hours, higher than the regional average of 83 per cent.
Fortunately, a sizeable 77 per cent said that they expect their staff to be available or contactable only for emergencies, higher than the regional average of 57 per cent.
This suggests that although expectations are high, Singapore bosses are comparatively less unreasonable in their demands than their regional counterparts.
And the more senior you are the greater the expectation for you to be available or contactable while on leave or out of office hours.
In terms of compensation for being available while on leave or during out-of-office hours, employees in Singapore are most commonly offered time off in lieu (43 per cent) or overtime payment for additional hours worked (31 per cent).
However, 39 per cent of workers are not compensated for working outside of office hours, higher than the regional average of 33 per cent.
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