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Survey finds 45pc of Singaporeans unhappy at work in 2017

by January 23, 2018 General

Office workers are seen at the central business district in Singapore. — Reuters pic  Office workers are seen at the central business district in Singapore. — Reuters pic SINGAPORE, Jan 23 — Issues with the management, as well as a lack of career development and training opportunities are creating serious unhappiness at work in Singapore.

Almost one in two Singaporeans are unhappy at work, according to’s Job Happiness Index 2017, an online survey that polled about 700 respondents here.

Respondents were asked how they would rate their job satisfaction in a survey administered between July and August last year, and 45 per cent of them were found to be unhappy at work.

But the result was a slight improvement from a year ago, with Singapore scoring 4.31 on a 10-point scale, up from to 4.09.

The majority of the respondents in Singapore consisted of executive-level employees or jobseekers in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing and production, banking and financial services, the civil service and hospitality.

When their career trajectories stagnate, employees do not derive any form of satisfaction and may begin to resent their jobs, said Chew Siew Mee, country manager at Singapore. “To retain outstanding performers, there is a need to give them new challenges and more high-level responsibilities so that they can grow their skillsets,” she noted.

As employees tend to stay in the same position for a longer period due to the flatter structure of today’s organisations, employers can consider expanding the employees’ responsibilities or moving them across different functions to upgrade and build multi-functional skills, said This will help to improve the employees’ work happiness and productivity levels.

The survey also revealed that 55 out of 100 employees are either neutral or happy at work, chiefly due to work location, followed by good colleagues and the company’s reputation. Other factors that helped to boost happiness levels for Singaporeans are transport subsidies, workplace flexibility, salary increment and additional job perks.

Happier employees are also found in larger companies due to the better “defined organisational structure” that allows employees to explore options without leaving the company. Life-long learning opportunities are also more prevalent due to the resources of larger companies.

“Our survey found that 47.2 per cent of the respondents are happy because of the ease of commute. However, the long travel time from home to workplace has led to unhappiness in 26.3 per cent of the respondents,” said Chew.

For employers planning their talent retention strategies, reviewing their policies on transport subsidies could help boost workplace morale, suggested Chew.

Among those polled, millennials were found to be happier (36 per cent) than non-millennials (30 per cent). “While both groups value convenient access to work location, millennials care most about flexibility. As such, employers can look into offering incentives such as flexi-work schedule and work-from-home policies to attract high-calibre millennials,” said

The Singapore respondents were among 35,000 surveyed in places including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The survey aims to provide useful insights for employers to develop and enhance initiatives to attract, engage and retain talent.’s database currently services over 230,000 corporate hirers and over 15 million jobseekers. ― TODAY