As working from home (WFH) regularly becomes a permanent option in a post-COVID-19 environment, 81% of Malaysian employees.

According to the recently released Malaysian findings from the UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study, 74% of respondents also expected their productivity will improve as they have greater freedom over how they manage their working hours.

By age group, this belief was most strongly-held by Generation Z (87%) and Generation Y (78%) employees. While only 67% of Generation X respondents shared the same sentiment.

Nine in 10 Malaysian employees expect flexible working arrangements to continue post-COVID-19 

The survey also revealed that nine in 10 Malaysia employees expect flexible working arrangements to become more common in a post-COVID-19 environment. This time, the sentiment was highest among Generation X (94%), followed by Generation Y (88%) and Generation Z (87%).

UOB noted that the expectation was unsurprising given that more than one in two employees (55%) in Malaysia expressed satisfaction in their employers with regards to providing flexible work arrangements during the pandemic - the highest among the five ASEAN countries covered in the study.

Lai Tak Ming, Executive Director and Country Head of Human Resources, UOB Malaysia, said: "In the past year, we’ve seen organisations and employees adjust to a new working environment after the pandemic hit. Employees moved from working in an office to a makeshift home office, while audio and video conference calls replaced face-to-face meetings. Although at first regarded as temporary measures in response to the threats of the pandemic, remote work is now part of the new working norm."

Prioritising the well-being of employees

The impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives has also given rise to concerns about their well-being with three in five Malaysia residents (60%) worried about their mental health and happiness. In addition, 76% of Malaysian employees believed their employers will pay more attention to their staff’s well-being as a result of the lessons of COVID-19.

Among these respondents, those between the age of 18 to 23 years old (69%) and 24 to 39 years old (65%) expressed the greatest concern over their emotional well-being. These two groups of respondents also have the strongest view that their employers will focus more on workforce well-being.

ALSO READ: About nine in 10 employees across ASEAN are working longer hours to avoid losing their jobs

UOB Malaysia puts in place initiatives to help people cope and boost morale

In line with organisations rethinking the future of work and the workplace, UOB Malaysia has been developing a hybrid working model in which employees in eligible roles can have the flexibility to work either in the office or remotely once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

"The Bank is testing scenarios, redesigning its physical workspaces and enhancing its digital infrastructure to ensure its people continue to remain productive and connected with each other in this new normal of work. To support the success of our people, the Bank has also planned virtual engagement sessions to prepare them for the transition and creating training programmes to enable managers to lead teams in a hybrid work environment,” Lai said.

On the topic of mental and emotional well-being, he added that UOB Malaysia has put in place several initiatives to help its people cope and boost their morale.

"This includes setting up an online professional counselling service known as the UOB care-line to provide our colleagues with mental and emotional support as and when they need it. The same hotline is also available for immediate family members of our colleagues,” Lai said.

Photo / 123RF