Renegotiate, Resign, Remain: All Roads Lead to Rome?

Inflationary pressures caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and protracted global supply disruptions have caused commodity prices to rise like we’ve never seen before within a short period of time.

Our favourite Caifan, Kopi, or Briyani’s prices were hiked. Not forgetting that Malaysia would soon be temporarily banning the export of their fresh chickens in an attempt to stabilise the prices of poultry in their domestic economy.

More recently, there were concerns that the recent Monkeypox outbreak in some countries can lead to yet another pandemic while we’re still reeling in from the health, economic and social catastrophe brought about by COVID-19. Ah, when can we have peace and carefree times again?

Resign The great resignation

Yet, Singaporean workers have been leaving their jobs amidst this climate. How do we make sense of this? It has been said that there’s a “Great Resignation” happening worldwide, and not just in Singapore.

A report by RPA software company UiPath revealed that up to 48% would consider quitting their job within the next six months. Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trend Study reports a similar figure, that one in two Singaporeans are planning to resign in the next six to twelve months.

Some top reasons for leaving include: (1) not feeling sufficiently rewarded for their work, (2) feelings of being overloaded at work, and (3) abrupt changes at the workplace which are not properly and clearly communicated.

resign the great resignation

Resignations have direct knock-on effects. The immediate effect is the reallocation of work to other colleagues in the vacant role, increasing their workload. 86% of the respondents in the same report reflected that they had to take up to six new tasks beyond their job scope due to their colleagues resigning, and 69% said that it has blurred boundaries, to the extent that they have forgotten their initial responsibilities in their role. With the added workload, it’s unsurprising that resignations may follow one after another.

resign the great resignation

What are some of the strategies that employers are introducing? Progressive companies are introducing mental health insurance coverage, virtual mental health counselling, and training employees to identify and support those facing mental health challenges. But not every company is supporting their employees appropriately or sufficiently.

Filling up those vacancies: Attractive salary and benefits are key

resign the great resignation

As of December 2021, there were approximately 114,000 job vacancies, more than twice the number recorded in December 2020, which stood at 53,000. Vacancies are taking longer to fill too, with the proportion of unfilled vacancies for at least six months growing from 27% (in 2020) to 35% (2021).

Salary and benefits consideration are key in 70% of employees when they look for an ideal employer, according to Randstad’s survey. Another comparable consideration is work-life balance, and slightly more than half reflected job security, pleasant work environment, and career progression as considerations too.

employees resign

Work-life balance is a tricky phrase – it can mean very different things to different worker demographics.

For a parent, flexible-work arrangements contribute to work-life balance as it allows them to plan their time effectively and deal with issues involving their children, or elderly parents while getting their work done.

For the young worker just stepping into the workforce, work-life balance simply means delineating clear boundaries – leaving work at the workplace after office hours, to have some personal time with themselves, their friends, and family – in short, not having to think about work.

The Work-from-Home (WFH) arrangement as a result of COVID-19 restrictions in the early days of the pandemic has also brought relief to workers who absolutely hate waking up early and catching the peak hour MRT, which would spoil their morning before they even start work.

workers tired

A whopping 97% of workers in Singapore felt exhausted after a working day at least once in a working week. Office workers are feeling burnt out, feeling that their work-life balance has been robbed. It doesn’t help when one works from home, which further blurs the work-life boundary.

Workers have also reflected that they aren’t getting the support they needed, such as automating tasks that could be automated which saves precious time to allow them to focus on the important work at hand.

ADP, a human resources services company published its annual People At Work report and found that as much as 60% of 1,400 workers in Singapore are ready to request a pay raise at work. This figure rises to 70% for younger workers, aged 25 – 34.

The same report showed that four in 10 workers in Singapore felt that they put in extra hours of six to 10 hours at work, without being fairly compensated for these extra hours.

Which of the ‘R’s are you currently at, at work? Are you intending to…

  • Renegotiate your salary with your boss?
  • Resign within the next 6 months?
  • Remain at your job (I’m happy!)

Let us know in the comments!

About Author

A young Singaporean concerned about issues workers face. As humans, we spend a third of our lives sleeping and recharging, and another third for our personal life, and the last third at work (based on a 24-hr distribution). That's why we should pay attention to issues surrounding work.