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Four-day week could become standard by 2029 – report
Wed, 3rd Apr 2024

A recent survey reveals that nearly one third of Singapore's workforce anticipates the standardisation of a four-day work week within the next five years. The findings, disclosed in the "People at Work" survey by ADP, a provider of payroll and HR solutions, indicate that 32% of Singaporean workers expect shorter work weeks to become the norm by 2029.

Simultaneously, 21% of these workers disclosed that their employers have already implemented a four-day week to improve mental health in the workplace. This figure is the highest in the APAC region, outshining Australia with 11%, China at 14%, and India with 20%. An additional finding revealed that 67% of Singaporean employees have some to complete flexibility over their working patterns.

In the forecast for common workplace practices within the next five years, the surveyed workers highlighted the importance of flexible working arrangements (FWA). The top three trends comprised the four-day week, hybrid working models, and complete flexibility over hours based on performance and results.

Yvonne Teo, Vice President of HR APAC at ADP, reinforced the rising popularity of the four-day work week, stating, "The four-day work week is gaining popularity for its potential benefits like improved work-life balance, increased productivity and reduced burnout. Flexibility is not a perk but a foundational expectation. Our research shows Singapore employees value flexibility as the third most important factor to them in a job, after salary and job security. Employers today must offer FWA to attract and retain talent."

However, despite the existing levels of flexible working arrangements, the findings indicate the demand for further concessions. The survey reveals that less than half of Singaporean workers are satisfied with the flexibility of their hours or location, an upsetting 46% and 47% respectively, marking the lowest satisfaction figures across the APAC region.

Yvonne adds, "More can be done in creating flexible work arrangements. By understanding the specific concerns and preferences of their employees through open dialogue, employers can then provide tailored solutions to accommodate their diverse needs and preferences. Striking a balance that considers both the company's needs and the well-being of its workforce is crucial to fostering a more positive and inclusive work environment. Employees desiring flexible work arrangements should be proactive and have open conversations with managers to work out the best solutions."

In summarising the findings, Yvonne concluded, "Flexible work arrangements can benefit everyone, whether employee or employer. But effective implementation and communication are key to their success."

The "People at Work" survey offers a comprehensive analysis of workers' attitudes towards the current scope of work across 17 diverse countries, focusing on their expectations and aspirations for the future workplace.