03 August 2020
SINGAPORE – A new Manulife Singapore survey about the impact of COVID-19 and circuit breaker measures on the lives of people living in Singapore has revealed that 60% of respondents are not confident to be part of crowds anymore, and 65% are not confident to go outside as much as they used to. Key reasons for this include the fear of contracting COVID-19 and wanting to avoid long queues and crowds.
The survey* polled over 1,000 respondents in Singapore to understand their attitudes and sentiment towards the lifting of circuit breaker restrictions, and what the ‘new normal’ might look like.
THE “OLD” NORMAL
Before the impact of COVID-19, most Singaporeans enjoyed a fast-paced on-the-go lifestyle, constantly being out and about for work and play.
THE NEW NORMAL: EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY
While the majority of respondents were confident to resume essential activities such as grocery shopping or dining at home with friends and family, many are wary of restarting outdoor entertainment, lifestyle and fitness activities in the new normal:
Outside of worries around contracting COVID-19 (67%) and the fear of long queues and large crowds (58%), convenience related factors, such as not wanting to wear a mask for a long time (47%) and the hassle of having to sign in and out everywhere (45%) are also barriers to resuming normal activity.
However, despite the health risks of COVID-19, Singaporeans are more concerned about the economy (68%) and job security (59%), over the physical health of them or their loved ones (57%). 53% of respondents also indicated that they are worried about their personal and family finances. In additional to personal and financial health, 40% are also concerned about emotional and psychological wellbeing.
“We’ve all had to make adjustments to our daily lives during this period. Now, even as we move towards resuming our pre-circuit breaker routines, we recognise that things will not be the same as before. At Manulife Singapore, it is our role as customers’ trusted life insurance partner to help them live confidently as they ease into the new normal,” said Dr Khoo Kah Siang, Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Singapore.
A SILVER LINING
COVID-19 has caused changes in many ways to our world including the fast tracking of a digital life. Unsurprisingly, the number one thing people in Singapore were doing the most of during circuit breaker was taking work meetings via video calls (66%).
Other activities include honing their MasterChef skills baking cookies and cakes (35%) and upskilling themselves by taking an online course (34%). 29% of respondents ordered groceries online for the first time and 27% organized virtual happy hour with family and friends.
And while it probably seemed like everyone on Instagram was doing it, only 15% of Singaporeans took part in the #DalgonaCoffeeChallenge during the circuit breaker.
LIFE GOES ON, LET’S MOVE RESPONSIBLY
To encourage Singaporeans to resume life in the new normal, Manulife Singapore will be launching a nationwide sneaker hunt in end August with the message “Life Goes On, Let’s Move Responsibly”.
“We wanted to find a way to encourage Singaporeans to go out, have fun, in a responsible way,” said Darren Thompson, Chief Customer Officer and Chief Product Officer, Manulife Singapore. “Through this campaign, we hope to help Singaporeans take small steps in re-introducing a sense of normality to their daily lives in a safe way, and find joy while doing so.”
The sneaker hunt will run for five weeks, both online and offline, with participants standing a chance to win limited-edition sneakers each week.
*Note to editors: The survey, commissioned by Manulife Singapore, was conducted online by 2CV in end June 2020 among 1,000 respondents based in Singapore between the ages of 21-64. ‘Pre-circuit breaker’ is defined as before 7 April 2020, and ‘post-circuit breaker’ is defined as from 19 June 2020. Percentages may not total to 100 due to rounding.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2019, we had more than 35,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 30 million customers. As of March 31, 2020, we had C$1.2 trillion (US$0.8 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$30.4 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
About Manulife Singapore
Established in 1980, Manulife Singapore provides insurance, retirement and wealth management solutions to meet the financial needs of our customers across their various life stages. Customers can readily access our solutions through our extensive multi-channel distribution network. In addition to our established agency force, we distribute our products through a number of specialist partners, including banks and financial advisory firms.
For more information on Manulife Singapore, visit manulife.com.sg.
Rachel Lok / Esther Subramaniam