The report, covering a total of 66,624 respondents in Asia, found that only 7% of Asia’s workforce now want to commit to a completely onsite work arrangement.

Data from SEEK Asia's new report, Decoding Global Ways of Working, finds that only 7% of Asia’s workforce now want to commit to a completely on-site work arrangement. A majority of them have expressed a desire for flexibility in where their work gets done. As such, most respondents from Asia prefer a hybrid work arrangement moving forward, with two or three days of working from home every week.

A total of 66,624 respondents in Asia — out of 209,000 participants across 190 countries — took part in the study.

Most of the Asian respondents prefer to work two to three days remotely every week, with two exceptions:

  • 49% of the respondents in the Philippines prefer to work all five days completely remote, for possible reasons such as the increasing rate of COVID-19 infections, traffic situation, and the public transportation system.
  • On the other hand, only 9% of the respondents in Hong Kong are keen on a completely remote arrangement — this could be due to their housing situation, where their houses are not ideal for a home office.

Peter Bithos, Chief Executive Officer, SEEK Asia, said: "COVID-19 has changed the world, down to the micro level. Workers around the world have begun re-evaluating their work priorities. Accordingly, employers must too change their work policies in order to remain attractive to top talents.

"In today’s digital world, they must be technology champions, ensuring convenient access to collaboration tools and the deployment of robust infrastructure in both the office and at home. Secondly, they must make employee wellbeing, work-life balance, mentorship and career development a key part of their companies’ core. Finally, they need to be a role model to their employees, with their corporate social responsibility efforts focusing on tackling important social and/or environmental issues."

We've drilled down into some key country data for HR decision makers to consider below.

Malaysia findings

Among 5,649 respondents in Malaysia, the difference between those working completely remote during the pandemic and those preferring to do so is only 2%, the lowest among Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Hong Kong - indicating that most employees surveyed are happy with their workplace situation.

As such, if given the choice, 68% of the 5,649 Malaysia respondents would opt for a hybrid work arrangement, i.e. combination of remote and on-site (compared to 44% globally). A quarter (25%) would prefer a completely remote arrangement (very close to the global average of 24%), while 7% would prefer to be completely on-site. 

Respondents from digitalisation & automation sector have the fewest employees working completely on-site. In fact, in this sector, those who work completely remote and remote & on-site combined is more than 90%, up from 60% before the pandemic. In fact, among workers surveyed in the digitalisation and automation industry want to work at least one day remotely. None of them want five full days in office. 

Image / SEEK Asia report 

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