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Employees are looking for continued flexibility in both where and when they work.

More than half (54%) of employees surveyed in APAC are likely to quit their current role post-pandemic if they are not offered continued flexibility in where and when they work, according to EY's latest research.

Although currently limited by the pandemic, movement of talent can still be seen. However, different discussions are now taking place around the attractiveness of companies based on how they have responded to the pandemic. Flexibility is a factor that many job seekers would not have considered a couple of years ago, but it is now an important element for talent when seeking new roles. 

The same survey showed that if given a choice between flexibility in work location and work hours, the respondents would ideally like both - with 87% of employees in APAC saying they prefer flexibility in when they work, while 88% would like flexibility in where they work. Even so, most expect a full return to the office after the pandemic, including in countries like China and Japan, where there is more of an ‘in-office’ culture and face-to-face interactions are valued. 

Almost half (48%) of employees globally and in the APAC say that their organisational culture has changed and improved over the course of the pandemic. Nevertheless, around one-third (31%) believe it has worsened. 

In addition to better technology in the office, employees are calling for companies to invest in at-home technology for greater productivity when working remotely. Almost half (48%) say they want companies to upgrade at-home hardware (for example, extra monitors and headsets), and almost the same proportion (47%) would like reimbursement for internet and phone expenses.

“The next frontier is a hybrid working model and there are many organisations struggling with this. Our survey shows how important it is now for companies to get this right. In some cases, a ‘new deal’ will need to be formed between employers and employees around the ongoing expectations around flexibility, and requirements for work,” commented Stephen Koss, EY Asia-Pacific Workforce Advisory Leader. 

The 2021 EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey surveyed more than 16,000 employees across 16 countries. It explored how organisations and their employees feel about new challenges to work that arose from the pandemic, such as remote working, changes to organisational culture and the future of the office. Asia-Pacific markets surveyed include Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore.

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