Monday, May 19, 2008

S'poreans prefer to relocate than travel 45 mins to work

CNA story source: S'poreans prefer to relocate than travel 45 mins to work

WORKERS in Singapore will grumble if they have to commute some distance to work, but they will readily pack their bags and fly to the ends of the earth for the right job, according to a poll by Kelly Services.

Two in three of more than 2,000 employees here polled by the recruitment firm said they were not prepared to commute more than 45 minutes each way to work, The Business Times reported yesterday.

Nearly eight in 10 of those polled would consider relocating to another country to work.

This shows that despite their reluctance to spend more time commuting, Singapore workers are highly mobile when it comes to securing the right job.

More than half - 56 per cent - of the workers polled were even ready to uproot and move to unfamiliar territories where they don't speak the local lingo.

'With a more globalised workforce, there is increasingly a recognition that people may have to relocate to find the right work, or to advance their career,' saidMr Dhirendra Shantilal, Kelly's senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific.

'There are many skills that are easily transferable across borders, including in areas such as banking and finance, IT, science and engineering.'

Those willing to move, not surprisingly, are in the younger age group of 25 to 34.

'Typically, they have fewer family and other commitments that prevent them from relocating,' said Kelly Services.

'Males were more willing to relocate than females.'

It added that 'family' was the overwhelming issue when workers polled were asked to rank the main obstacles for them to work overseas, with 72 per cent citing it as a factor.

Other factors were language barriers (49 per cent), children's education (27 per cent), tax complications (24 per cent), property ownership (20 per cent) and pension/super-annuation rights (14 per cent).

'The finding that many workers are willing to be highly mobile in their search for work is good news for employers,' Kelly said.

'At a time of relative skills shortage, globally, targeting employees from another city or internationally can be one of the most effective ways of filling gaps in the labour market.'

Some 13 per cent of the workers polled said that they had already relocated to a country where they did not speak the language to find the right job.

This is probably due to the fact that traveling is becoming more uncomfortable nowadays.

Why is it that I get the idea that SMRT trains were less crowded in the past? The rise in population is making public transport a bit uncomfortable.

Also not mentioned in the story is whether the surveyed would choose owning a car since the car will most likely reduce traveling time.

This is something that's pretty simple. Just compare the motivation of relocating versus the motivation to not travel 45 minutes every working day in crowded public transport.

There are probably other variables in question that I might have left out.

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