Ipsos Survey: Malaysian employees want flexibility in working from home and in office

·2-min read
A recent survey showed that one-third of Malaysians are not ready to return to their offices. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A recent survey showed that one-third of Malaysians are not ready to return to their offices. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — A recent survey showed that one-third of Malaysians are not ready to return to their offices, preferring to work from home in this new normal brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, titled Are We Ready To Be Back In Office? by market analysts Ipsos found that 33 per cent of Malaysians prefer working from home completely, while another 32 per cent prefer to work away from home.

The survey also showed that Malaysians would prefer to work more than half their working week, or 2.8 days, from home.

“As the pandemic is coming under control across Malaysia, an increasing number of employees are faced with the choice of whether to return to office. Employers will eventually have to decide how long and in what form they would allow work from home.

“Malaysians are divided in their preferences, with a third each strongly supporting work from home or away from home. But eventually, this boils down to providing flexibility of workplace and work schedule to employees,” said Lars Erik Lie, Associate Director at the Ipsos Public Affairs department.

The survey also found that Malaysian employees want flexibility of workplace and schedule in order to feel more connected, productive and stress free.

It showed that 74 per cent of employees want flexibility in the amount of time they spend going to the office, while 71 per cent agree that they are more productive with a flexible work schedule.

However, 64 per cent of employees say they miss being around their coworkers, while 48 per cent say that working from home is a difficult place to be productive.

The survey also found that 42 per cent of employees agree that they feel more burned out working from home, while 39 per cent feel disengaged from work when working from home.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that Malaysian employees also expect their employers to be more flexible in terms of going to office, adding that forcing employees to shift back to full time work will encourage them to look for alternative work.

“Malaysian employees believe flexibility is the answer to their needs — productivity, engagement, and a stress-free environment.

“Employers who fail to understand this need are at the risk of losing talents. Thus, beyond an attractive perk, workplace/schedule flexibility will be a default requirement post-pandemic,” said Lars.

The survey reported that 73 per cent of employees agree on the fact that employers should be more flexible in terms of requiring employees to go to an office, while 40 per cent said that if their employers expect them to work away from home full time, they will consider looking for other jobs.

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