Close to 40% of organisations in both Malaysia and APAC anticipate the post-pandemic phase to be in the third quarter of 2021. 

Based on Aon’s latest global HR pulse survey, 84% of organisations surveyed in Malaysia are looking towards remote working routines, but more than half (56%) have already set a tentative date to return employees onsite. Both of these sentiments are relatively similar to those observed in the APAC region overall.

The global study, conducted in April 2021, examines approximately 1,500 organisations (of which 535 are in APAC, and 148 are in Malaysia) to understand how they are adjusting their workforce strategies in response to the current pandemic environment.

Back to office

In the survey, less than half (41%) of employees working in Malaysia reported that they expect to return to an office setting, post-pandemic. With more than half (52%) stating: “Yes, our organisation has agreed on returning to onsite, but a return date has not yet been determined.” This is 6% higher than those in APAC.

With close to 40% of organisations in both Malaysia and APAC anticipating the post-pandemic phase to be in the third quarter of 2021, 27% of those in Malaysia expect employees to thus work-from-office two to three days per week. This sentiment is lower than that of organisations in APAC (37%).

Results: Malaysia vs APAC

Has your organisation made decisions about when to return employees to onsite locations?

  • Yes, but our return date has not yet been determined (52% v 46%)
  • Yes, and we have a return date (22% v 27%)
  • No (4% v 4%)

How many days a week would you expect workers to be onsite?

  • Two to three days (27% v 37%)
  • Four to five days (20% v 20%)
  • Unsure (20% v 16%)

Work routines aside, the survey also covers on sentiments around vaccination. Organisations in APAC, including Malaysia, reportedly favour their employees being vaccinated, and would encourage those unvaccinated to do so through incentives such as time-offs, cost coverage, or vaccination facilitation.

More importantly though, organisations in the region will push for onsite return once a percentage of employees are vaccinated.

Results: Malaysia vs APAC

What type of assistance will you offer to employees looking to procure a vaccine?

  • Cover the cost of the vaccine where it is not free (58% v 59%)
  • Facilitate vaccinations onsite (47% v 46%)
  • Provide information on how and where to procure a vaccine (68% v 74%)

What type of incentives will you offer to motivate employees to get the vaccine?

  • Time-off to get the vaccine administered (75% v 80%)
  • Time off to recover from adverse reactions from vaccine (66% v 74%)

What decisions will you make based on the information on the percentage of employees vaccinated?

  • Review existing safety measures (80% v 79%)
  • Plan for onsite return (63% v 72%)

Work from home

That said, organisations in both markets are ready to manage remote and flexible working options for employees. It was reported that 42% of organisations in Malaysia are creating and updating remote working policies for their employees. In which, the policy covers areas like employees’ eligibility, technology requirements, frequency of days to WFH, and more.

It is also noteworthy that utility costs—think cellphone, Internet, home office set-ups—incurred by the employee are said to be temporarily reimbursed by the organisation. And this sentiment is similar in both Malaysia and region-wide.


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