Malaysia's on-site employees unhappy with policy

Employees required to be on-site at least four days a week make up most dissatisfied workers

Malaysia's on-site employees unhappy with policy

Employees required to be on-site at least four days a week are making up Malaysia's most dissatisfied workers when it comes to work arrangements, according to a new report.

Findings from Hays Malaysia revealed that 74% out of 2,014 skilled professionals in the country currently agree with their latest work arrangement policy.

The rest, however, said they disagree with it.

According to Hays' findings, a majority (69.2%) of those who disagree with their post-COVID work arrangement policies are either fully on-site or required to report four days a week in the office. Others were under the following arrangements:

  • Three days per week in office (15.8%)
  • Two days per week in office (7.9%)
  • One day per week in office (3.2%)
  • One to three days a month in office (1.7%)
  • Fully remote (2.1%)

“Contrary to the commonly perceived tension between employers and employees, the majority of employees are receptive to the work arrangement adjustments needed to meet business priorities. To ensure these arrangements are tailored to benefit all parties, employers should continue engaging the workforce in their considerations” said Tom Osborne, Managing Director, Hays Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

In Malaysia, local employees are more likely to mandate employees onsite than foreign organisations, according to the report.

Only 30.9% of multinational companies are mandating employees to be onsite five times a week, while 61.4% of local firms do. Only 2.8% of local firms are also allowing fully remote work, much lower than the 6.6% of multinational companies, according to the report.

Deciding over work arrangements

Amid strong demand for a shift in work arrangements, however, 32% of the respondents said they would leave the decision over such policies to leadership.

This is only slightly lower than the 29.3% of employees who want this to be a discussion among them, their direct manager, and leadership.

Malaysia's Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 made it mandatory for employers to approve or refuse applications for flexible working arrangements. In the case of a refusal, the employer has the responsibility of stating its reason, according to the reforms.

“While candidates has a preference for companies with flexible working options, having the platform to engage and openly discuss with teammates are just as crucial. Having the right avenue will inculcate sense of corporate value and belonging. Aside from that, feeling sufficiently challenged in their role were also important considerations to candidates as this will determine their growth and learning curve in an organisation,” said Natasha Ishak, Regional Director, Hays Malaysia.  

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