Singapore

Men as keen as women for more flexible work options, shows poll

Observer says results reflect cultural shift where dads 'are not afraid to be more nurturing'

Men have become as interested as women in more flexible work options, a new survey shows.

Traditionally, women favoured flexi-work due to their role as the primary caregiver but there has been a shift, the poll finds.

It shows 71 per cent of men and 76 per cent of women surveyed here want to work more flexible hours. The poll out last week notes that 55 per cent of men already had flexibility at work while 43 per cent of women are in the same position.

The desire among men for more flexi-work options is driven by millennials, said Mr Abhijeet Mukherjee, chief executive of the Asia-Pacific and Gulf regions at recruitment site Monster.com, which did the survey.

He said: "As Singaporean families move towards a more balanced share of the load between partners, men are starting to demand greater flexi-work options so they can better support their families."

This finding is reflected in the other countries polled - Malaysia and the Philippines. There were 2,238 respondents, including 540 here.

Almost 75 per cent of the men polled here said they are seeking a job change as work-life balance is a top priority. About 42 per cent of these respondents are aged between 26 and 31.

The poll shows Singaporean women face other challenges at work, with 55 per cent of local mums believing they missed out on career opportunities.

Centre for Fathering and Dads for Life's chief executive Bryan Tan said the findings reflect a cultural shift where dads, encouraged by years of pro-family messages from organisations like his, companies and the Government, "are not afraid to be more nurturing".

Counsellors said flexi-work may not work for some dads.

Mr James Leong, the founder of Listen Without Prejudice, which provides counselling services, say many men find their identities in providing for their families. He cited the other findings, where 41 per cent of men feel constant pressure to provide for their families.

Mr Leon Yeo, a co-founder of a fintech start-up Doxa Holdings, said he supports flexi-work but warns that offering such arrangements for all employees might be "too risky".

He said some people became more productive on flexi-hours but some treated their flexi-job as "a part-time" one.

Still, Mr Yeo, 49, walks the talk when it comes to embracing the benefits of flexi-work, which he and his co-founders have introduced in their company. They work from home.

Employment