SINGAPORE, April 21 — The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of workers here, with seven in 10 employees reporting that they felt stressed on some level in the past six months, a survey has found.
It also found that more than 60 per cent of employers in Singapore reported feeling stressed on some level in the past six months over the impact of the pandemic.
The survey, which looked at how the pandemic has impacted business owners and employees across those five countries, was conducted by human resource software company Employment Hero.
It released its findings yesterday after surveying a total of 1,000 respondents in Singapore — comprising 500 employees and 500 employers — in March this year.
In total, across the five countries, it surveyed 3,037 employees and 2,679 employers.
The findings from Singapore were the highest compared to those in four other countries.
- In Australia, it was 57 per cent of the employees reporting that they felt stressed on some level in the past six months and 56 per cent of the employers who said the same.
- In Malaysia, it was 61 per cent of employees and 54 per cent of employers
- In New Zealand, 59 per cent of employees and 49 per cent of employers
- In the United Kingdom, 62 per cent of employees and 60 per cent of employer
Of the Singapore employees who said that they had felt stressed on some level in the past six months, close to one-fifth of the respondents indicated that they had felt “very stressed”.
Similarly, 13 per cent of the Singapore employers who reported feeling stressed on some level in the past six months said that they had felt “very stressed”.
These figures were also the highest proportion compared to respondents in the four other countries surveyed.
The next highest stress levels were seen among the Australian respondents, where 14 per cent of employees and 16 per cent of employers respectively had felt “very stressed”.
However, despite the high stress levels observed in Singapore, mental health remained a stigma in the workplace, with more than half of employees and employers surveyed agreeing that they were concerned about the stigma.
More than half of the Singapore employees surveyed also indicated that they were uncomfortable discussing mental health in the workplace.
Related to this, half of the business owners believed that workplaces should not bear the burden of their employees’ mental health problems.
This was even though the majority of the same business owners surveyed believed that their companies are supportive of their employees’ mental health.
On the flipside, only 41 per cent of the Singapore employees agreed that their companies are supportive of their employees’ mental health.
This figure is the lowest among the five countries surveyed.
TODAY has sought comment from the Ministry of Manpower on the survey findings.
Flexible work arrangements
Respondents were asked what their employers can do better to ensure that workplaces remain safe.
Among the Singapore employees surveyed, about half wanted to see flexible working hours and remote working arrangements implemented respectively.
On the other hand, only 39 per cent of employers indicated that they were embracing flexible and remote working as the norm moving forward and have formalised these working arrangements in their workplaces.
This is compared to 50 per cent of employers in Malaysia who have embraced flexible and remote working arrangements as the norm.
The study had findings only from Malaysia and Singapore on flexible working arrangements.
In Singapore, the survey found that banks were 36 per cent less likely to have implemented flexible working arrangements, while consulting firms were 88 per cent more likely to have formalised these arrangements. — TODAY