Information Technology and Singapore Society
In this assignment, we would present our findings on whether Singaporeans are receptive to Telecommuting. Telecommuting is the substitution of telecommunication for transportation, permitting work to be performed at a remote site anywhere except from the office. We conclude that Singaporeans are not very receptive to Telecommuting although Singapore is quite a technologically advanced country in Information Technology.
A total of 20 respondents ( males and females) were asked to complete a survey form. Their age group was around 21-30 years of age. They were mainly made up of NUS students and system analysts. Among the 20 interviewees, 55% indicated that their current jobs do not require them to telecommute. Half of the 20 respondents spend on the average, 0-10 work-related hours in front of the computer every week. In addition, 90% of them feel that Telecommuting could not replace most of the jobs in Singapore.
Below are the four highly topped responses that the interviewees made regarding their feelings towards Telecommuting in general.
In the survey, 90% of those participating recognize that there is a loss in human touch while 85% of the interviewees feel that there is a loss in team cohesion. Telecommuting may cause a relative loss of synergy, because of reduced face-to-face contact, although electronic mail and on-line documentation can counterbalance this. Thus, Telecommuting results in less social interaction and reduced contact with the physical part of the organization (the office). This leads to isolation, loneliness and a reduced sense of identification with the organization and its members.
The survey reported that 80% of the interviewees recognize that there is no need to commute with telecommuting. Telecommunication technology lets telecommuters transform almost any space into a workplace. Instead of going to work, telecommuters let work come to them. Time is saved too when the telecommuter does not have to travel to work. He beats the hassle of traveling to work and getting stuck in traffic jams. The time saved can be used to generating more output for his work.
Moreover, 70% of those participating in the survey feel that they are able to spend more time with family and friends with Telecommuting. Telecommuting can help balance work and family demands. In this sense, Telecommuting can play a part in helping to bond the family together. When the parent does not have to leave home to go to work, he/she is able to spend more time at home with his family. The parent is able to show more concern for his children and spouse, as he/she knows what is going on in their lives. This will greatly improve the family cohesiveness.
We found out that 65% of the interviewees think they are not able to work from home. This could be because Telecommuting requires unwavering self-discipline as telecommuters can make a choice between eight hours of work time or eight hours of web-surfing. The latter is of course more tempting.
The reasons why Singaporeans are not receptive to Telecommuting might be due to three reasons. Singaporeans have a collectivistic culture and value team cohesion as well as membership. They are socialized to be emotionally dependent on organizations and institutions. As a result, Singaporeans are not used to the idea of Telecommuting. Firstly, the close proximity between family members due to Singapore’s small physical size makes Telecommuting unfeasible. Secondly, the accessibility of Singapore due to its efficient transport network ensures that employees can commute between home and office quickly.