The line between work and personal life is fast blurring, with increasing workplace connectivity and higher expectations from bosses keeping more workers connected to work at all times. According to Robert Half’s latest Workplace Survey, 69 per cent of Singapore employees tune into work when they are out of the office or on holiday, higher than the regional average of 66 per cent.
Reasons cited by Singapore respondents include the need to be available in case of an emergency at work (66 per cent) and filtering through work emails to ensure less stress when returning to the office (60 per cent), suggesting rising work pressures. The survey also noted a high level of employee dedication, or “workaholism”. Many claimed they preferred to stay on top of work issues even when on holiday (45 per cent), believing they should be available at all times as they are using a company mobile phone (29 per cent) or simply finding it impossible to “switch off” (25 per cent).
59 per cent of respondents also cited technological advancements allowing access to work information from anywhere in the world as a key reason. Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore and Japan Tim Hird said the phenomenon of 24/7 workplace access made possible by technological advancements has led to hyper-connectivity and faster turnaround time, which is undoubtedly an advantage for businesses in this competitive world. However, the pervasiveness of constant work connectivity also result in the erosion of personal space, higher stress levels and overall decline in the quality of life for employees. He said employers need to be realistic in their expectations to avoid overloading their staff and negatively affecting employees’ morale and work productivity.