The free software platform for measuring work-from-home productivity will henceforth be updated daily to gather actionable insights for business leaders.

Earlier this month, EngageRocket, in partnership with the Institute for HR Professionals (IHRP) and the Singapore HR Institute (SHRI) had put together a People Continuity Package aimed at enhancing Work-From-Home (WFH) effectiveness.

Hundreds of companies had since signed up for this publicly-available resource that allows organisations to gain a deeper understanding of their telecommuting effectiveness, employee engagement, and their well-being.

Now, the partnership has announced the daily release of updates on the Pulse of the Singapore Workforce, leveraging aggregated and anonymized data from more than 2,700 survey respondents since the launch on 13 Apr 2020.

The employee responses gathered represent the largest consistent dataset on the state of workplace sentiment in Singapore since the start of the pandemic. The pulse of the Singapore workforce offers insights into how employees and organizations are reshaping what working conditions in Singapore and the region may become in future.

Here are some interesting survey findings:

1. Employees view WFH as desirable but it imposes a tax on productivity

80% of employees wished to continue working from home half their time or more after the ‘Circuit Breaker (CB)’ measures end, while 10% did not want to work from home after the CB.

More than 46% reported lower productivity, taking more time to achieve the same as before.

  • Younger employees were less likely to have their productivity affected by working from home: 40% of younger workers, aged 21 to 30 years old, indicated that they were less productive than before working from home, compared to 49% for employees who were aged 40 to 53 years old.
  • The main challenges faced by workers with low productivity were:
    • Practical aspects such as family presence, distractions and space constraints (22%)
    • Working longer hours than usual (22%)
    • Inability to access resources and tools that they could have in the office (21%)

Mayank Parekh, CEO of IHRP surmised: “These are early days yet and we will need to see the results over a longer period. However, beyond doubt, Covid-19 will have a profound impact on the future of work. For instance, it has ended the debate on whether or not companies should offer telecommuting. The next step for many companies, however, is to couple this flexibility with employee engagement programs that helps to alleviate the productivity challenges.”

2. Mental health and stress are taking a toll on employees

A quarter of workers report edmore stress, mostly driven by concerns around:

  • the health and economic impact on the country (67%),
  • their productivity and performance being impacted due to working from home (64%)
  • the possibility that a member of their family maycontract COVID-19 (57%)

Said Alvin Goh, executive director at SHRI: “Mental health plays an important role in the way we deal with stress, how we relate to others, and the decisions we make in our daily lives. Without positive mental health, it will be almost impossible to realize one’s full potential, work productively, or handle the stress that comes with life. Thus, with the preliminary results, there is a greater need to focus and assist our workforce in overcoming the pressures that they currently face.”

3. Engaged employees are more confident of and committed working towards the company’s success in a crisis

Among promoters (respondents who gave high scores consistently), 95% agreed or strongly agreed that they are confident about the future of their organization.

During crises like this, strong leadership and communication are critical. Some 94% of promoters reported being well-taken care of by their organization, along with 88% of them reporting that they had strong management support. Also, 95% of promoters also indicated that their organization communicates with them effectively throughout the ongoing pandemic.

Gearing for post-pandemic recovery

Measuring employee engagement and workforce attitudes are a business imperative, even during an economic downturn or a crisis. Research shows that engaged employees are more likely to actively participate in crisis management to support and benefit the organization. High-performing and high-potential employees will be the key to any company’s recovery.

Employers have to take action now to ensure that these business-critical employees do not resign when the job market stabilizes. Said Leong Chee Tung, co-founder and CEO,EngageRocket: “While ensuring business continuity is important through such crises, the need to engage employees effectively is a critical factor determining how quickly companies can rebound when the economy recovers.”

Companies of all sizes and industries in Singapore can consider applying for the service until 1 June 2020 to hopefully improve their WFH process effectiveness and to keep a pulse on their employees’ engagement and well-being levels.