Singapore workers unhappiest in South-east Asia: Survey

September 30, 2016

Alfred Chua Mingfeng

WORKERS in Singapore are an unhappy and pessimistic lot.

The Republic has ranked the lowest in job happiness, and workers here are the most pessimistic about their jobs, according to a survey conducted across seven Asian nations.

Furthermore, ratings for job optimism among Singapore workers is expected to drop further in the coming six months.

Among the respondents from Singapore, fresh graduates were found to be the happiest employees in the Singapore workforce, scoring a 5.3 on a 10-point scale.

C-suites — or corporate senior executives — on the other hand, were the most miserable scoring the lowest, at an average of 4.4.

The survey also found that those working in the sciences, hotels and restaurants as well as admin/human resources sectors are found to be the happiest.

Administered by online jobs portal, the survey was conducted in June this year with a total of 67,764 participants from seven countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong. There were 3398 respondents from Singapore.

The Republic scored an average of 5.09 on a 10-point scale for the Job Happiness Index, which measures how happy and satisfied respondents are and will be with their jobs.

The Philippines was first, followed by Indonesia in second, and Thailand in third. Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Malaysia take the fourth, fifth, sixth places respectively.

Respondents ranged from fresh graduates to those in supervisory and managerial positions and top management, and representing various specialisations and industries, said

According to the survey, convenient work location, having good colleagues and company reputation are three key factors that affect job happiness.

A lack of training and career development and poor leadership were flagged by respondents here as causes of job unhappiness.

To increase job happiness, Singapore respondents felt that getting a new job (30 per cent), a higher salary (19 per cent), or receiving recognition from the company (9 per cent) would help in increase their job happiness.

The survey also flagged a trend of falling job optimism in the next six months here, with scores dipping 3 per cent to hit 4.93 on a 10-point scale.

On the issue of declining job optimism, the jobs portal recommended employers to “address the factors causing employee dissatisfaction”.

“Good leadership can be manifested by keeping employees informed on company directions, strategies and even challenges that the company may be facing particularly during an economy slowdown like currently,” said Ms Chook Yuh Yng, country manager of Singapore.