Flexible work arrangements: Is Malaysia ready?
06 February 2023
Going virtual — spotlight on mental well-being
Employee listening in the forefront
The future of flexible work arrangements in Malaysia
In a 2020 study by TalentCorp and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia, which included 1,021 employees and 231 employers, 60% of respondents reported their productivity increased or remained the same when working remotely. And over 60% of respondents said remote work has improved their quality of life. In particular, women (who often assume a caregiver role at home) felt their quality of life improved because working remotely helped them better manage work and family commitments.
The TalentCorp and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia study also found that 83% of employees are considering working remotely as a permanent arrangement in the future. In addition, more employers are thinking about moving to a hybrid work model, which allows employees to alternate between working at the office and remotely. Although it’s important to note that not all jobs can be done remotely, many can — and employees and employers are starting to recognize this new reality.
Flexible work arrangements will soon become a permanent option for many employees in Malaysia. However, a deeper conversation still needs to happen between managers and their team members to determine which roles should turn into remote-working roles permanently. Also, the government must proactively provide more support to SMEs that are still struggling to transition to a fully remote or hybrid model.
No longer simply a “perk” to attract and keep employees, workplace flexibility has become the expectation for both employees and employers. And this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Although Malaysia still has a way to go on its journey toward workplace flexibility, it won’t be long until the ripples caused by the great remote-working experiment become waves of broad-scale change. Therefore, aside from encouraging and seeking government support for greater workplace flexibility, companies must look within, embracing the mindset change needed to make flexible work arrangements not only possible but beneficial for their people and organization.