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    7 Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) Trends in Malaysia

    October 12, 2022

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    Flexible Work Trends in Malaysia
    Shreya Srivastava
    Written By
    Shreya Srivastava
    Hybrid Work

    The world of work is undergoing significant changes. The Malaysian workforce is showcasing diverse expectations when it comes to working arrangements. Let us look at some trends that highlight the shifting patterns in the country.

    Most businesses in Malaysia swiftly adapted to remote and hybrid work models when the pandemic hit in 2020. Organizations realized that it was possible to switch to remote/hybrid work on a more permanent basis (at least for some roles inside their organizations) without sacrificing productivity.

    These changes in work arrangements have changed what employees expect from a work environment. Many still prefer flexible work arrangements even though the pandemic has subsided.  Business leaders in Malaysia need to consider the implications of these trends to frame their policies for the new styles of work in Malaysia.

    Trends in Malaysia That Point Toward the Rise of Flexible Working Arrangements

    The Malaysian workforce exhibits divergent expectations when it comes to workplace arrangements. For instance, the majority of Malaysian employees want flexible work arrangements to continue, but many also want more face-to-face contact with their teams. Additionally, as the lines between work and play become incrementally blurred, more than half of the local workforce reports feeling overworked and weary. Here are some other trends that are shaping the future of the workforce in Malaysia.

    1. The Rise of Hybrid Work: Over 75% of Malaysian workers want more in-person time with their colleagues, and 77% want flexible remote work choices to continue. Consequently, 62% of business leaders in Malaysia are thinking about revamping their offices to accommodate hybrid work arrangements.

    2. Young Workforce: With a median age of roughly 30, Malaysian workers are more likely to adjust to changing trends than those in nations with an older working population. Younger workers are more technologically savvy, socially and environmentally conscious, and are less concerned with work location.

    3. High Productivity, But High Burnout: For many workers, over the past year, self-assessed productivity has remained the same or has increased. However, because the amount of work expected of employees increased dramatically during this time, 58% of Malaysian workers reported feeling overworked and fatigued.

    MicrosoftTeams-image (18)-44. A Drop in Office Occupancy Rates: National Property Information Centre reports that office space occupancy rates decreased from 71.7% in the second quarter of 2021 to 70.8% in the third quarter of that same year.

    5. A Struggling Gen Z: Over 60% of the population between 18 and 25 claims to be just “surviving" or "flat-out struggling.” This cohort is more likely to be single and in the early stages of their careers, increasing the likelihood of them experiencing the adverse effects of solitude and struggling to stay motivated at work. They may also lack the resources to set up functional workspaces at home.

    6. Divergent Networking Patterns: Global patterns revealed that while transitioning to remote work improved relationships with direct coworkers and close networks, interactions with distant networks, or connections outside the direct team have decreased. With the shift to remote work, Malaysian employees reported having fewer interactions with coworkers.

    7. Increased Authentic Connections: Coworkers relied on one another in novel ways to get through the pandemic. Over 40% of Malaysian workers believe they can be more authentic at work because of their increased connection. In Malaysia, employees have established a deep emotional connection with their peers (22%), while others have virtually met their coworkers' dogs or families.

    The Way Forward for FWAs in Malaysia

    With the rollout of Flexible Working Arrangements in Malaysia, leaders now have the chance to develop a workplace strategy that includes the most significant elements of both the digital and physical workplaces. Organizations can choose to experiment with working styles and improve over an extended period to create a thriving flexible work culture. Considering the effect they are positioned to have on growth and the capacity to inspire cooperation and creativity, firms can choose to reconsider certain long-held beliefs to take the leap and implement FWAs.

    To learn more about the FWA announcement in Malaysia, get insights into the perspectives of different stakeholders, and figure out how to implement the changes seamlessly, download this comprehensive guide.

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