2024: Year of keeping ‘an AI’ on job disruptions

So, goodbye to old methods of training for training’s sake, such as doling out training credits or hitting a number of training hours.

There will be more apprenticeship and traineeship programmes, she added, offering smoother transitions for workers taking up skills-based jobs.

She expects more firms to formally recognise diverse skills, education qualifications and mental health differences in hiring. The workplace fairness legislation to be passed in 2024 will be an impetus.

“Singapore’s workforce is set to become more adaptable, inclusive and in tune with the demands of the new economy,” she said.

Work’s turning global, amid rise of global recruiters

Over three in 10 small- and medium-sized firms here use Employer of Record (EOR) services to manage remote teams, and most of them plan to do more of it in 2024, said EOR firm Remote, citing an IDC survey it commissioned.

An EOR is an entity that legally employs workers on behalf of another business, handling all aspects of employment including compliance, payroll and taxes. 

“We see international organisations wanting to hire Singaporeans, as well as Singaporean businesses looking to expand internationally and leverage talent beyond borders,” said the firm’s chief executive Job van der Voort.

Jobs are expected to turn more global as cost savings from offshoring business functions such as call centres and payroll gradually disappear.

It could be traced to the rising costs of labour in emerging markets and automation, said Mr Charles Ferguson, general manager for Asia-Pacific at Globalization Partners.

“Businesses are recognising that strong talent pools exist in markets all over the globe and they now have the technology to tap these talent pools seamlessly,” he added.

Office rents will slide, bosses will snap up units

With more choices and lower rentals – bosses will have an array of new office spaces to choose from in 2024 before supply constricts from 2025 until at least 2027.

It will be a tenants’ market with these new office developments: IOI Central Boulevard Towers, Keppel South Central, Labrador Tower and Paya Lebar Green.

There will be about 2.9 million square feet (msf) of new space, almost 2.5 times the historical 10-year annual net demand of 1.2 msf, said Mr Anshul Jain, managing director for India and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield.

All eyes are on interest rates, and if they ease, companies could be moving and expanding workspaces in the second half of 2024.

“Some offices are getting increasingly crowded, especially as more companies are encouraging a return to office,” said Mr Jain. “We anticipate that pent-up demand for offices is building and could be unleashed as business conditions improve.”

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