IMD World Talent Report 2023

Singapore rejoins the top 10, moving up to eighth place, which represents its highest position achieved in the overall talent ranking (in 2020, Singapore ranked ninth). This improvement is mainly driven by Singapore’s perfor mance in the readiness factor (first). It ranks 14th in the appeal factor and 31stin the investment and development factor. Its strengths at the indicator level include PISA educational assessment (second), the percentages of graduates in sciences (third), student mobility inbound (fourth), and the remuneration of management (fourth). It ranks relatively low in attracting and retaining talents (37th). Singapore’s lowest ranking indicators are the cost-of-living index (57th) and the total public expen diture on education (62nd). Its largest improvements include the level of exposure to particle pollution (27th). Conversely, among Singapore’s declines are the effec tiveness of its primary and secondary education (ninth), the implementation of apprenticeship schemes (19th), and quality of life (26th). Austria drops slightly to the ninth position in the overall ranking. At the factor level, it ranks fifth in investment and development, 12th in appeal, and 18th in readiness. Among Austria’s strengths are the level of employee training (first), implementation of appren ticeship programs (third), remuneration of management (sixth), student mobility inbound (seventh), percentage of graduates in sciences (eighth), and the total public expenditure on education per student (ninth). Its weak nesses include the availability of competent senior 4. Remote work and talent competitiveness The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in significant transfor mations in labor markets, with the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work models emerging as one of the most enduring changes. Over the last three years, a substantial number of companies spanning various indus tries and geographies have enthusiastically embraced a more adaptable approach to work organization. While the precise effect on productivity levels remains a subject of debate, with some studies showing a positive impact of remote-work models on workers’ productivity and others claiming a neutral or negative impact, a growing body of opinion polls and research underscores the fact that employees increasingly favor remote and hybrid work arrangements. In this evolving landscape, a number of companies have recently begun to revert to more traditional five-days-in-office working models, asserting that elements such as corporate culture, team building, creativity, and workers’ career development have been negatively affected by remote work arrangements. With this in mind, we asked our survey respondents about the impact of the adoption of remote work and hybrid models on employee career advancement.

managers (45th), collected personal income tax (48th), the cost-of-living index (51st), and the availability of skilled labor (62nd). Austria’s largest improvements include attracting and retaining talents (third) and the availability of senior managers with significant interna tional experience (20th). Its largest declines are in the aforementioned cost-of-living index and availability of skilled labor, but also in the availability of finance skills (34th) and its attractiveness for overseas highly skilled staff (34th). Sweden drops to 10th place as a result of a sluggish performance across all talent competitiveness factors. It ranks ninth in investment and development, 10th in appeal, and 13th in readiness. At the indicator level, Sweden ranks well in levels of exposure to particle pollu tion (third), total public expenditure on education (fifth), the impact of brain drain (seventh), and the prioritization of employee training (ninth). Among its weaknesses are the cost-of-living index (35th), the quality of secondary education as captured by the pupil-teacher ratio (36th), labor force growth (38th), and collected personal income tax (58th). Sweden experiences declines in several indi cators, including the availability of finance skills (10th), the availability of competent senior managers (11th), the effectiveness of its primary and secondary education (23rd), the implementation of apprenticeship schemes (31st), the prioritization of talent attraction and retention (19th), and labor force growth (38th). Figure 3 shows the responses of over 4,000 execu tives across the 64 economies included in the talent report. Most executives (41%) believe that full-time in-office presence is not a necessary condition for career development and progression, although it plays a role for professional advancement in their company. Around 30% state that full-time presence in the office is not fundamental to career progression. Finally, over a fourth (27%) assert that remote work, whether full time or part-time, is detrimental to career development in their company. Breaking down the data by company size ( figures 4 to 6 ), we find that both the percentage of executives asserting that remote work is detrimental to career development, and the share of those affirming that full-time in-office presence is not necessary for career progression but matters, increases depending on the size of the company. In small businesses (fewer than 50 employees), around 26% of executives consider remote work detrimental for professional advancement, with this share increasing to 28% in large companies. Similarly, while 37% of execu tives working for small businesses state that full-time


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