Remote working is an increasingly popular choice for Singapore workers.
A recent survey of 1,000 workers conducted by recruitment agency Randstad showed that two in five respondents said that they would not accept a job if they were unable to work from home or anytime they wanted.
Moreover, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of the respondents said that they valued the importance of remote work.
Randstad managing director Jaya Dass, who helms the agency’s offices in Singapore and Malaysia, told CNA that there was an increase in preference for remote work because it gives people the flexibility to have greater control of their time.
“The findings in our research suggested that Singaporeans want the option to work flexibly because it allows them to personalise their schedule. When employees work from home, not only will there be less distractions to meet deadlines at work, they will also get to spend more time with their family members and do some household work,” said Ms Dass.
“This will allow them to make more time in the evenings and weekends for activities that they like, such as catching up with their friends over a meal, work on gig projects to upskill themselves or travel to neighbouring countries,” added the human resources expert.
For those who can now work from home, being based in Johor Bahru is a “no brainer”, according to 58-year-old Azhar Yusof.
The IT engineer moved with his wife to Johor Bahru earlier this year, having purchased a retirement home near Nusajaya.
While his spouse is retired, Mr Azhar works remotely.
“I connect with clients and colleagues via online video calls. (Being overseas) is no problem,” he said.
“I’m thankful that my boss is accommodating. As long as I get my work done, he does not mind if I’m based in Johor or anywhere,” he added.
LOWER PERSONAL EXPENSES A MAJOR DRAW
A major factor that has prompted Singaporeans to relocate to Johor Bahru is lower costs for housing, groceries and other amenities.
“Not all things are cheaper in Johor Bahru than in Singapore. But for most items, we do save quite a bit,” said Mr Azhar.
He estimates that the groceries there are typically 50 per cent cheaper as compared to Singapore.
“The savings do add up. We do groceries at places … where most locals go. The food is fresh and cheap,” he added.
Mr Azhar added that the favourable exchange rate has made it more economical to live in Johor Bahru.
In early August, the Ringgit depreciated to a record low against the Singapore Dollar, touching RM3.2410, according to a report by The Edge.