More leave days tops the wish list of Singapore employees

03 December 2015

But that is not what their bosses think they want…

Perks such as child care rank low on the list of things most desired by employees

Every employee has a wish list of benefits they dream their employer will one day give them. At the top of that list is usually a desire for more money.

Apart from a cash boost though, what do employees want? If employees in Singapore could pick just one thing they really wanted from their employers, what would it be?

According to new research by recruitment firm Robert Half in Singapore, the answer is most employees want more days off. 

The survey of 500 employees in Singapore found 36 per cent put more annual leave at the top of their wish list, followed by more flexible hours (32 per cent) and professional development opportunities (20 per cent).

However, it appears that their employers have a vastly different view of what they think their team wants.

When 150 C-level executives where asked the same question, the top response was that their employees wanted more flexible working hours (54 per cent) while only 18 per cent nominated more leave days. 

Only 12 per cent of employers thought professional development and career development opportunities were the thing their employees most desired.

Other perks such as childcare, laundry services and access to fitness facilities all ranked low on the list of the things employees most desire from their job.

Table 1: Employees and employers wish list



C-Level Executives

More holidays and annual leave



More flexible work hours



More training and professional development opportunities



Home office/telecommuting



Perks such as child care, laundry and ironing services, fitness center, etc.




Ms Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore believes the employer’s wish list is more realistic than the employees.                

“While everyone would like more days off very few companies will increase the amount of annual leave above that which was agreed to when the employee started with the company.  So while the desire among employees for more days off is strong, it is a wish that is unlikely to come true.”

“Employers believe their teams want more flexible work arrangements, and this is something that is within the power of the company to provide.”

Work-life balance is important and flexible work arrangements can go a long way to helping an employee manage their personal and professional responsibilities.  But as all employees know, there is still no substitute for having a whole day to themselves to do what they want or need to do.”


Contact us


Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
E: [email protected]

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