EIGHTY-SEVEN per cent of employers here are open to flexible work arrangements for their staff, a survey by recruitment firm Robert Half has found.

This is higher than the global average of 79 per cent from the 13 countries and territories where HR directors were polled.

Within Singapore, the number varies across sectors: 91 per cent of employees in the public sector are allowed to work remotely, compared to 88 per cent in private companies and 83 per cent in publicly-listed ones.

Singapore came up behind Hong Kong and Switzerland, where 94 per cent of companies allow their employees to work from home. Italy and Chile brought up the rear with 45 and 38 per cent.

The other countries represented in the survey were Australia, Belgium, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain.

Among companies cool to the idea of telecommuting, reasons cited against it were the need for a physical presence on the job (55 per cent), security (53 per cent) and productivity concerns about the lack of supervision (48 per cent).

In Singapore, 60 per cent of the companies have a formal policy for alternative work arrangements in place; the global average is 47 per cent.

Robert Half Singapore director Stella Tang said having a work-from-home option is a positive factor in the bigger battle to attract and retain talent.

She said: "For professionals with family commitments who cannot commit to working in an office full- time, the option to work from home allows them to contribute their skills and continue with their career.

"Employers benefit from having more motivated employees who are better able to manage their personal commitments."