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4 in 10 Singapore workers seek new jobs for more pay; flexi-work comes second: Survey

·Finance Editor
·3-min read
People walk during lunch time at the Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on 16 February 2021, illustrating a story on employee and employer expectations. Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Four in 10 Singapore workers seek new jobs for more pay; flexi-work comes second, says a new EY survey. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – One in two Singapore employees are likely to quit their jobs in the next 12 months, with four in 10 saying their motivation in seeking new jobs is for higher pay.

This comes amid rising inflation and an increase in roles offering flexible working arrangements, among other factors.

Career growth is the second most likely reason for a job move, cited by 35 per cent of Singapore employees surveyed.

These are the results of the annual EY2022 Work Reimagined Survey, which compares employer and employee perceptions since 2020.

Also read: Over half of S'pore workers would consider quitting if made to return to workplace full-time

Also read: Public Service officers can WFH an average of 2 days weekly: Chan Chun Sing

Also read: ShopBack launches Singapore HQ, hiring for over 200 roles globally

In a press release by Ernst & Young Advisory on Tuesday (19 July), EY said that the survey was conducted from January through March 2022 and received responses from over 17,000 employees and 1,575 employers from 22 countries across 26 industries. It was conducted using a third-party panel and targeted employers with a range of 500 to 15,000 employees.

Survey data was segmented by 88 different personal and work-related demographics and preferences. Participant responses ranged from 21 years to 65 years plus, with responses from senior leaders and individuals across all different functions.

There were responses from 50 Singapore employers (200 in Southeast Asia) and 300 Singapore employees (1,100 in Southeast Asia (SEA)).

Desire for flexibility ranked lower

While 42 per cent of Singapore respondents said they sought new employment for higher pay, some 38 per cent of SEA respondents felt the same way.

Some 45 per cent of Singapore employees – versus 44 per cent of SEA respondents – said pay increases are key to addressing staff turnover. But only 24 per cent of Singapore employers agree – versus 15 per cent of SEA employers.

EY chart showing the employee and employer priorities reflected in the EY2022 Work Reimagined Survey. (PHOTO: Screenshot from EY website)
EY chart showing the employee and employer priorities reflected in the EY2022 Work Reimagined Survey. (PHOTO: Screenshot from EY website)

Interestingly, flexible working arrangements — which were the biggest factors leading to employee moves according to last year’s survey — are now less of a driver. Only two in 10 employees are seeking remote-work flexibility — that's 20 per cent of Singapore respondents and 17 per cent of SEA employees.

However, some 90 per cent of respondents in Singapore – and 93 per cent in SEA — want to work out of the office at least two days a week. Seemingly in agreement, only a minority of employers — 12 per cent among those surveyed in Singapore and 19 per cent of the same in SEA — say they want staff to be in the office five days a week.

Among the various age groups, Gen Z employees and millennials in Singapore are the most likely to quit their jobs this year — 57 per cent of Singapore respondents and 49 per cent of those in SEA.

EY's ASEAN Workforce Advisory leader, Samir Bedi, said: "Singapore’s digital infrastructure has enabled organisations to rapidly adopt flexible work arrangements and create attractive 'phygital' work environments. As flexibility has now become the new standard requirement, it is critical that employers re-evaluate their employee value proposition to address the key workforce concerns of today, particularly around competitive compensation and career growth opportunities."

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