Balancing Work and Life

Business Times, Monday, 26th March 2012

Are findings that Singapore executives have work-life balance problems and high job dissatisfaction a cause for genuine concern? Are solutions like flexible work options widely available, or does more need to be done?

WHILE hard statistics do speak for themselves, we ought to note that the sample size of Singapore business executives that were surveyed in the study by Accenture is very small – only 100 people vis-Ã -vis a working population of a few million. So it may not reflect the actual state of affairs with pinpoint precision.

Having said that, Singaporeans are indeed an industrious bunch and we have earned ourselves a reputation for prioritising career success at the expense of time with the family. Stereotypes come about because there is some kernel of truth to it so we need to acknowledge this fact. I believe that this lack of work-life balance is deeply entrenched in our culture so it will take a great paradigm shift in employers’ perceptions to one day achieve such balance.

This is a challenge given the increasingly competitive business environment where companies need to drive up productivity in order to maintain their competitive edge. There are, however, encouraging signs that companies are beginning to embrace initiatives targeted at creating work-life balance, such as flexible work arrangements where employees get to work at home once a month for instance. But we find that these are still largely offered by MNCs, which appear to be more progressive in the implementation of work-life balance measures. Clearly, there is room for improvement among Singaporean employers in general.

 

Ronald Lee
Managing Director
PrimeStaff Management Services Pte Ltd

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