Work-life balance for employees in financial services in Singapore is improving and their employers stand to gain too: Survey

More Singaporean employees in the financial services industry can look forward to improved work-life balance as employers continue to roll out initiatives.
The Straits Times

The outlook for work-life balance of Singaporeans in the financial services industry seems to be optimistic with signs of ongoing improvement, a recent study reveals.

According to an annual survey commissioned by specialised recruitment consultancy Robert Half, more than two in three (68%) Singapore chief financial officers (CFOs) within the financial services industry say that employee work-life balance in their organisation has improved over the past three years.

While one in three (29%) say that work-life balance for employees has stagnated within the same period of time, only 3% say there was a decline.

The survey was conducted with 75 CFOs and finance directors in financial services in Singapore by an independent research firm.

It was part of an international survey focusing on job and workplace trends as well as talent management.

Most financial service employers understand the need to enhance the work-life balance of their staff in order for their businesses to reap benefits, with 91% acknowledging positive impact on work performance.

Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said: “With financial services being a fast-paced environment, obtaining work-life balance is not only highly beneficial for employees as it helps reduce stress and increase job satisfaction, but it also brings advantages to companies that go beyond increased productivity.”

Organisations that prioritise and actively promote work-life balance initiatives can gain a competitive edge by branding themselves as employers of choice in the search for talent, he added.

Currently, 97% of Singapore’s financial services employers are actively encouraging positive work-life balance for staff through various types of initiatives.

The most popular include additional leave or holidays (47%), flexible work hours (41%), company restrictions on use of mobile devices outside of office hours (29%), on-site amenities (27%) and restricting work hours (25%).

“To continue to promote proper work-life balance, employers should also discourage the ‘workaholic’ attitude and restrict employee access to the workplace outside of regular office hours,” said Mr Imbert-Bouchard.

Alternative methods for employers to assist their workers in attaining more manageable work-life balance have also been recognised.

Job-sharing, for instance, allows for part-time employees sharing a full-time job to better manage their working schedules around their personal commitments.

Companies in turn enjoy a diversified workforce, higher productivity and a pool of alternative perspectives and ideas on projects.

Compressed work week initiatives grant workers the benefits of part-time work without sacrificing salary, giving them freedom to complete their usual number of contracted hours in less than five working days.

Permanent part-time arrangements also allow employees to work fewer hours weekly on a permanent basis – usually between 20 to 29 hours – without interfering with their entitlement to company benefits.