28 October 2022

Employees are willing to compromise in exchange for flexible schedules, locations

Employees want flexibility in their schedules and working locations, not arbitrary hybrid work, and they are prepared to make compromises to get it, according to the ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View report*.

Globally, the survey of almost 33,000 workers in 17 countries reveals that 50% would take a pay cut to guarantee flexibility in how they structure their hours – even if it meant the total hours worked did not change. In Singapore, over 72% would like more flexibility in their schedules even if they work the same hours. Nearly four in 10 in Singapore - 38% - would accept a pay cut if it means flexibility in working locations.

The conversation on flexible work is currently centered on whether companies should consider a full return to office, or continue with hybrid and remote working models. However, the People at Work 2022 data shows that employees value flexibility in planning their own schedules and working locations.

With remote and hybrid working models already widely adopted by Singapore companies, employers should consider what is the next level of flexible work and what employee benefits will retain talent in the years ahead. This could be in the form of implementing a four-day work week, allowing employees to curate their own schedules, or al owing employees to work remotely from overseas locations.

For certain industries, flexible working is an easy-to-implement alternative in the bid for talent. In Singapore, six in 10 employees are prepared to ask for a pay raise this year, yet Singapore is grappling with raising interest rates and supply chain issues on top of a talent crunch.

Yvonne Teo, VP of HR, APAC, ADP said: “For companies who may not be able to accommodate salary increases that top talent are asking for, being accommodating on flexible working could benefit when it comes to recruitment and retention.

“At the moment, while pay is an immediate concern for many workers, flexibility and work-life balance are very much front of mind too. This can help employers manage competing demands, at a time when attracting and retaining skilled, talented staff is one of the most business-critical issues of the day.”


Read the People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View report.

*People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future. ADP Research Institute surveyed 32,924 workers in 17 countries around the world between 1 November and 24 November 2021. This included 7,644 respondents in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore).

The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results were weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of 8 February 2022.