Eight in 10 employees around the world said that they prefer agile working as it allows them to maintain a good work-life balance.

The sentiment is higher in Malaysia, with 90 per cent of employees wanting the freedom to decide for themselves where, when and how they want to do their work. In fact, the same number of respondents prefer the flexibility as they believe it can increase work productivity and improve job satisfaction.

Despite the high expectation for better flexibility at work, more than six in 10 employees believe that having the freedom will interfere with their personal lives. Employees who have easy access to work via digital devices may feel compelled to be ‘always-on’ and are not always sure how and when to disconnect from work. As a result, 76 per cent of employees in Malaysia still prefer to work in the office during business hours. The office environment encourages employees to focus better and helps them clearly define the time they need to commit to work.

Ryan Carroll, Country Director of Randstad Malaysia said, “Agile working is gaining popularity in Malaysia, as more and more employees want to have autonomy in the way they work. However, as much as technology has helped made it possible to be more productive and creative at work, it can be quite frustrating and intrusive for those who feel that they need to respond to emails immediately, even during the weekends. Flexible work arrangements can only improve work-life balance and boost productivity when ground rules are set and agreed upon between employers and their staff.” 

Randstad’s Workmonitor is a quarterly research on global employment trends. The 2018 quarter one research was conducted between January and February 2018. A minimum sample size of 400 interviews is required in each country.

agile working preferred by malaysian employees.


Across all the four Asian markets, employees in Malaysia are the most likely to feel that agile working will interfere with their personal lives as they never seem to be able to disconnect from work (63 per cent). Surprisingly, it is the millennials (68 per cent) who feel more pressured to be ‘always-on’ as compared to mature workers aged between 55 and 67 (39 per cent).

Mature workers are also more likely to prefer agile working as they believe that it can improve their overall job satisfaction, with all employees aged between 55 and 67 agreeing with this statement. The same demographic also said that flexible work arrangement plays a significant part in improving their work-life balance.

hong kong SAR

When compared to the other Asian markets, Hongkongers are most likely to work at the office, with 85 per cent doing so. However, nine in 10 employees want to have the option to work outside of the office environment and during a time that best accommodates their lifestyles. Agile working is believed to promote autonomy as Hongkongers want to be given the freedom to decide for themselves how their work should be done and when they want to do it. Higher levels of autonomy have also led to increase in job satisfaction as employees feel a sense of greater responsibility of their work quality.

Only one in two respondents said that they feel pressured to be ‘always on’, the lowest in all four Asian markets. Mature employees are the least likely to feel pressured, with 59 per cent of them choosing not to work outside of business hours so that they can focus more on their personal lives. This indicates that the workforce is prepared for agile working options and are looking forward to have more freedom in the way they work.


Three in four employees in Singapore have the flexibility to work from home and outside of stipulated business hours. The flexibility to work at an offsite location is popular among Singaporeans, as 87 per cent said that having the autonomy at work increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.

However, 56 per cent of the employees felt that they are unable to disconnect from work. Women workers in Singapore are less likely to feel that agile working has interfered with their personal life as compared to men. 

mainland china.

Employees in mainland China welcome the option of flexible work arrangement, with 90 per cent of them believing that it can help them lead a healthier lifestyle. Furthermore, 92 per cent want to have more autonomy at work to attain job satisfaction.

Unlike other Asian markets, mature workers in mainland China are more likely to feel that agile working has interfered into their personal lives, with 67 per cent of the people believing so. In addition, 100 per cent of the same demographic said that everyone works at the office during opening hours. Millennials in mainland China are more likely to ask for flexible work arrangements as they believe that it will help them maintain a good work-life balance.

randstad workmonitor 2018 Q1 results.

prefers agile working statistic in manila
prefers agile working statistic in manila
felxibility arrangement in malaysia
felxibility arrangement in malaysia
agile working benefits in productivity statistic
agile working benefits in productivity statistic
working in the office culture
working in the office culture

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about  the randstad workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003, then in Germany, and now covers 33 markets around the world. The last country to join was Portugal in 2014. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time.

The Workmonitor’s Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next 6 months, provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. Besides mobility, the survey addresses employee satisfaction and personal motivation as well as a rotating set of themed questions.

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimum sample size is 400 interviews per market. The Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel is used for sampling purposes. The fourth survey of 2017 was conducted from October 24 – November 8, 2017.

about randstad

The Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential.  Our services range from regular temporary staffing and permanent placements to in-house services, professionals, and HR solutions (including recruitment process outsourcing, managed services programmes and outplacement). Randstad has top-three positions in Argentina, Belgium & Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States, and major positions in Australia and Japan.

At year-end 2017, Randstad had 38,331 corporate employees and 4,858 branches and in-house locations in 39 markets around the world. In 2017, Randstad generated revenue of €23.3 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded.

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