Malaysians want flexibility in work after Covid-19, says Randstad

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI 

MANY Malaysians want a more flexible working arrangement which includes working from home as well as in the office once the pandemic is over.

This group made up 48% of respondents in Randstad Malaysia’s Workmonitor survey recently.

The survey also revealed that respondents want flexibility to shift their working hours (17%), to permanently work from home (14%), to work in an office or outside the home (10%), to work from home whenever they feel like it (6%) and to work remotely from anywhere like a digital nomad (4%).

Randstad Malaysia head of operations Fahad Naeem said flexible working policies can help reduce stress levels and boost morale, as employees are able to find a way to strike a balance between their work and personal lives.

“However, remote working can also cost the organisation its culture as it can be difficult to foster relationships and replicate the energy required for effective collaborations.

“Companies will need to take small steps towards finding a balanced strategy that can both retain its culture and meet employees’ expectations,” he said in a statement.

Many employers have also sped up on digitalisation to equip their staff with adequate hardware and software for remote working.

Moreover, four in five respondents (82%) felt that their companies are ready to embrace digitalisation, while eight in 10 respondents felt that their employers are mentally and emotionally supporting them through the hardships of this pandemic.

“Limited social interactions and heightened fears about the virus can raise serious health issues.

“This could also be exacerbated by the blurring lines between work and life which may result in what feels like a long continuous day,” added Fahad.

He said employees are more likely to approach their managers for help and guidance to manage their stress levels during difficult situations.

“Companies that take the effort to invest in their employees’ health will see an increase in work productivity, reduced absenteeism and higher engagement levels at work,” he added.

Fahad also believed that ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of the staff is an organisation-wide effort and employees need to bring up their problems to the human resources teams so they can invest in the right programmes and healthcare packages to boost their employees’ wellbeing.

“For example, the younger generation can be involved in driving mental health awareness campaigns to destigmatise it, which would encourage more of their colleagues to speak out and seek professional help,” he said.

One in three respondents hope that their employers would provide employee assistance programmes after Covid-9, while two respondents expect their employers to have good health policies and safety protocols (52%), and access to health insurance (51%).

The survey was conducted in October last year across 34 markets worldwide with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market.

It highlighted the greatest concerns and challenges candidates are faced with.