THE state of work-life harmony in Singapore has remained fairly stable over the last six years, a new survey has found.
The Republic's work-life harmony score for this year came in at 63 on a scale of 0-100, with 0 indicating "no harmony" and 100 representing "total harmony".
The score back in 2006 was 64, which was the last time the government conducted the national work-life harmony study.
This year's survey involved some 1,650 respondents, and was conducted in partnership with the School of Family Life of Brigham Young University (BYU) in the United States.
The index was designed as a key measure to track the progress of work-life harmony in Singapore over a period of time.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) yesterday, those who scored highly on the work-life harmony index continued to report "better work, family and personal outcomes".
At the workplace, they were also likely to be more engaged and productive. Some 94 per cent of respondents with high work- life harmony agreed that they were engaged at work, compared to only 71 per cent of those with low work-life harmony.
At the personal level, they also felt "more satisfied and enjoy greater peace" in their lives, as well as have better physical and mental health. An interesting point to note is that people with high work-life harmony scores wanted more children than those with lower scores.
The study also found that there was now greater flexibility at the workplace such as flexible working hours (up from 14 per cent in 2006 to 23 per cent in 2012) and telecommuting (up from 8 per cent to 12 per cent).
But while the workplace has since become more supportive of employees' work-life needs, MSF said more could be done to encourage such measures on a wider scale.
"The findings show that work-life harmony has many positive outcomes for individuals and businesses," said Minister of State for Social and Family Development Halimah Yacob.
"Work-life harmony is not about working less. It is about people having the flexibility to integrate their work, family and personal life to achieve the best outcomes in these areas," she added.
Madam Halimah also urged employers to foster a supportive work environment for their staff to fulfil both their work and family aspirations.
"This is a win-win situation for both individuals and businesses. MSF will collaborate with the public, private and people sectors to reinforce the importance of spending time with the family," she said.