Flexible work arrangements were already a thing before the pandemic. However, Covid-19 certainly contributed to general awareness about flexible arrangements. In many places around the world, flexible work was something people knew about, but was never widely implemented because of traditionalist strategies and thinking. After all, why change something that already works?
However, it has become apparent that flexible working is quickly becoming a key factor in retaining employees in a post-pandemic world. According to a recent report by Ipsos, 12,445 adults online across 29 markets were surveyed, with 74 percent of Malaysians saying they want flexibility in their work life. Some 71 percent said they are more productive with a flexible work schedule, while 64 percent did say that they missed the interaction they had with their colleagues.
It is not all rainbows and sunshine though. Some Malaysians surveyed did acknowledge a few problems with work-from-home arrangements. Up to 48 percent of respondents said their homes are a difficult place to be productive, especially those who have families and children to care for. Additionally, 42 percent felt more burned out when working from home. This is likely a result of not being to properly separate work time from relaxation time. Finally, up to 39 percent of respondents felt disengaged while working from home.
Despite these issues, the majority of respondents still expect employers to offer more flexible work options as employees return to the office. About 40 percent of respondents stated that they would consider looking for another job if employers enforce a full-time office work schedule.
The pandemic has certainly made Malaysian employees believe that flexible work arrangements are the answer to improving the work-life balance. According to Lars Erik Lie, Ipsos Public Affairs associate director, employers who fail to understand this need are at the risk of losing talents. As such, he believes that such arrangements are more than an attractive perk, it is now something that should be offered by default.
According to the report, Malaysian’s wish for 2.8 days to work from home. However, they were quite a bit more split on whether companies should continue remote working arrangements after the pandemic. Up to 33 percent wanted to continue with remote working, while about 32 percent want to do away with the concept completely.