3 in 4 Singaporeans wary that workplace safety not firms’ top priority

Photo by Lucas Law

As more of Singapore’s workers return to offices, ServiceNow’s The Work Survey found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of employees in Singapore believe their company will prioritise business continuity over workplace safety. 

For this study, Wakefield Research covered perspectives of 100 Singapore based C-suite executives and 1,000 employees, from a total 9,000 global respondents.

These respondents are from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Singapore employees’ concerns sit higher than most of their global peers, only exceeded by New Zealand and India workers but well ahead of the global average (60%). Surprisingly, the city-state’s decision makers agree with close to two-fifths (57%) of executives sharing this sentiment, well ahead of the global average (44%).

“Singapore is making strong progress in its fight against COVID-19,” said Wee Luen Chia, ServiceNow managing director and area VP for Asia. “Digital solutions, like ServiceNow’s Safe Workplaces app suite, are available to assist organisations return their people to offices and easily comply with safe distancing measures.”

Since the pandemic began and Singapore implemented its circuit breaker period, local businesses have embraced innovative approaches to work, with 90% of Singapore’s executives and employees agreeing that technology enabled them to pivot to new ways working faster than thought possible. 

Despite this, some executives are looking to walk the changes back. Nearly half (46%) of local executives want to return to pre-COVID business procedures rather than maintain their new ways of working, even though 91% of Singapore-based employees view the COVID-related changes favourably.

“The pandemic is sparking a new wave of innovation led by a greater appetite for technology in the workplace than ever before,” said Wee Luen. “Singapore’s executives (91%) and employees (84%) admit that many routine business processes are still conducted offline, indicating there is plenty of scope further digitalisation.”

One area holding back progress is the lack of a fully integrated system for workflow management across all business functions. While 40% of Singapore’s executives agreed they had such integrated systems, second only to India, it demonstrates a long road ahead with more than half of businesses in Singapore having disconnected systems.

Opportunities to bridge the gap and invest in digital transformation are emerging despite the economic impacts of the pandemic with 80% of Singapore’s executives agreeing that their company will experience cost savings following COVID-19 related changes to company operations.

“Singapore’s executives (68%) and employees (51%) agree, any COVID-19 related cost savings should be prioritised toward digital transformation,” said Wee Luen. “ This beats out investing in other areas such as new business expansion, R&D and marketing.”