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Staff physically present but mentally absent in over half of Singapore firms: survey

MORE than half of Singapore companies have experienced staff who are physically present but mentally absent.

This phenomenon, termed "inner resignation", has been observed in 57 per cent of Singapore businesses, according to recruitment firm Robert Half.

It tends be more common in large- and medium-sized companies, with 68 per cent of companies seeing it, compared to 32 per cent of small organisations. The findings came from its survey of 100 chief financial officers and finance directors in Singapore, as part of an international workplace study.

"Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their jobs," explained senior managing director David Jones. "Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity."

The group found that most of the finance leaders surveyed use a range of strategies to prevent inner resignation, such as promoting employee appreciation (67 per cent), encouraging open communication (49 per cent) and ensuring job fit (47 per cent).

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Mr Jones added that employees also need to take responsibility for their satisfaction at work. "If an employee finds they have accepted inner resignation, then they should identify the cause of their dissatisfaction and raise the matter with their employer during their performance review. If the issue cannot be resolved then they are better off seeking a new job than lingering in a role they are unhappy with."

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