Workforce Management

Remote Work Declining in Singapore

Singapore is moving away from remote working models and toward a skills-based culture. 

By Zee Johnson 

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower recently released its Job Vacancies 2022 report, and it showed that the number of job vacancies that offer remote work declined last year to 21%. That number is 10% lower than in 2021.  

The report also revealed that PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) positions had a higher possibility of being remote as compared to non-PMETs. In 2022, 37% of PMET vacancies could be done remotely, and for non-PMET vacancies, that number was just 3%.  

Events like border restrictions being lifted in Singapore have contributed to the decrease in remote positions. “This reflects a normalisation of remote work trends as more workplace activities resumed on-site when pandemic-related restrictions eased in 2022,” the report said. 

For some industries and jobs that are skills-based, like construction, services and sales workers and cleaners and labourers, duties must be performed on-site.  

Another trend that the report showed was that employers were less likely to look at academic background when searching for new employees. “For 74% of vacancies in 2022, academic qualifications were not the main determinant in hiring. For PMET vacancies where qualifications were not the main determinant, skills and work attitude of the job applicant were the key considerations,” the report says. 

And remote positions aren’t the only thing decreasing—the number of overall job vacancies are, too. In fact, Singapore reported its third consecutive quarterly decline in job vacancies this year.  

Newly created positions made up 39% of all job vacancies, with the information and communications sector having the highest proportion (69%) for new positions. 

Minister for Manpower, Tan See Leng, said that the dwindling number of remote opportunities indicates a shift in mindset. “The government continues to support employers to redesign jobs to increase its appeal and to adopt a skills-based approach to hiring that considers a wider pool of candidates,” he said in a social media post. 

Tags: APAC March April 2023, APAC News, remote work

Recent Articles