EY: Flexible working the way to go for most M’sians post-pandemic

WHEN pandemic restrictions have ease locally, only 22% of Malaysian employees surveyed would prefer to work from office full-time.

As it turns out, the majority of employees would prefer to work from anywhere (23%), work remotely full time (29%), or in a hybrid work arrangement comprising a mix of in-office and remote working (25%).

This is according to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, which canvassed the views of more than 16,000 employees across 16 countries, including Malaysia. The global survey explored employee attitudes and experiences to work throughout the pandemic and into the ‘next normal’.

The survey also found that among Malaysian respondents, nine in 10 employees want flexibility in where and when they work, in the absence of which almost half (45%) would consider leaving their jobs post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the choice between two jobs, their preferences were evenly split: while 48% would choose flexibility in when they work, 47% would choose flexibility in where they work.

On average, the survey found that employees would want to work between two and three days remotely after the pandemic, with more than a third (36%) of respondents saying that they want a shorter working week altogether.

The survey also canvassed attitudes to existing work practices, with employee respondents broadly positive about the impact of remote working.

Almost half (54%) say their organisational culture has changed and improved during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while only 32% believe it has worsened.

Beyond its impact on culture, the majority of respondents agreed that a new mix of onsite and remote work would increase the company’s productivity (67%) and creativity (71%).

Meanwhile, the prospect of increasingly widespread flexible working is leading to more demands for technology, both on-site and in the home office.

81% of respondents say they want better technology in the office (faster internet and video-conferencing, for example), and more than half want companies to upgrade at-home hardware such as extra monitors and headsets (59%) and would like reimbursement for high-speed internet/phone expenses (51%).

But despite the shift towards new ways of working and the rapid adoption of virtual meeting technology, 63% would like to travel for business moderately to extensively after the COVID-19 pandemic. – July 5, 2021

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