• 31% of local respondents defined work-life balance as having flexible work arrangements that allow them to work anytime and anywhere they want as long as they can meet all the deadlines
  • 40% said that the best thing they like about hybrid work is that they have more flexibility and personal time 
  • 73% said that for them, an overwhelming workload lead to a poor work-life balance

In Malaysia, flexibility to work from home has become a core talent expectation. 6 in 10 respondents want employers to offer hybrid work as a benefit to improve their work-life balance.While 37% of employees are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely.

pay cut for better work-life balance
pay cut for better work-life balance

Randstad, the world’s leading human resources solutions agency, released the Reimagine Work white paper in Malaysia. This white paper aims to help businesses gain insights into changing talent expectations to engage with today’s talent in a meaningful way.

We have tried to tackle the definition of work-life balance for a long time in Malaysia. With the research supporting the white paper, we now understand that it is all about work flexibility in Malaysia and employers now have more information to develop more comprehensive workforce strategies that will meet these new talent expectations of Malaysian workers.

work-life balance is all about flexibility

3 in 10 respondents in Malaysia defined work-life balance as having the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere they want as long as they can meet all the deadlines. According to the survey, 39% of respondents said that they tracked all their projects and tasks to ensure they have proof of being productive when working from home.

45% of respondents said that the best thing they like about hybrid work is that they could have more flexibility and personal time at night and on weekends.

advantages of hybrid and remote work
advantages of hybrid and remote work

We have become more aware that time is a finite resource. To an employee, the time saved from commuting to and from the office can be better spent with their families or themselves. This is why we are starting to see many job seekers looking for new employers that offer employee benefits such as flexible work, shorter working hours or week.

Employees are considering giving up part of their pay to work for an employer with more family-friendly benefits that would allow them to work from home and achieve better work-life balance.

However, this should not be seen as a cost-saving measure for employers.

Malaysian companies that are looking to save costs by reducing the salaries of their remote workforce must reconsider the impact of such a move, especially since employees believe they are more productive while working flexibly or remotely.

Instead, these costs should be reallocated to create new employee engagement initiatives that can help improve the employee’s experience.

tackling overwhelming workload

The Reimagine Work white paper revealed that the sense of a good work-life balance of Malaysian employees is largely dependent on their ability to work flexibility from anywhere and anytime, enabling them to carve out more personal time.

However, when workloads become unmanageable, the impact on work-life balance far exceeds the inconvenience of being office-bound.

An overwhelming workload was the most-cited factor that threatened work-life balance for 73% of respondents.

Poor communication could lead to overtime as employees end up spending more time to understand and clarify the tasks that were assigned to them. Having too many meetings in the day can also lead to employees working more to complete their growing list of tasks. An overwhelming workload can cause negative work experiences and poor mental health, which would result in a less productive workforce.

When asked what Malaysians dislike most about hybrid work, 1 in 3 respondents said they are unable to communicate or work effectively with their boss and colleagues and 32% worked overtime because their bosses and colleagues like to send emails and text messages at night and on weekends.

Randstad Malaysia encourages HR professionals to further clarify their flexible work policies to help improve overall organisational work-life balance.

Flexible work arrangements should not mean that everyone is available 24/7. If employees end up working more hours for the same salary, they will leave for companies that respect their time more.

HR professionals should be setting clearer policies on flexible work such as establishing core hours for team activities, reducing the number and frequency of meetings and narrowing communication channels down to a few that work best for the company.

download the full white paper - reimagine work: managing changes in talent expectations

Randstad’s ‘reimagining work: managing changes in talent expectations’ white paper gathers insights from three surveys  - randstad employer brand research, randstad workmonitor and talent expectations survey - to understand what type of work-life support job seekers and employees expect from their employers.

The Talent Expectations Survey is an independent survey commissioned by Randstad that reveals insights on the latest key talent trends around work-life balance, work arrangements and work environments through surveying more than 1,200 respondents across Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and Singapore with a minimum sample size of 300 per market. This survey was conducted between July and September 2022.

download talent expectations white paper 2022
download talent expectations white paper 2022

Reach out to our specialised consultants for the latest talent trends or want to know more about the latest market insights. Through market mapping and conversations with our clients and job candidates, we can inform you of the latest trends that you can turn into actionable strategies to attract and retain talent.

Alternatively, if you are a job seeker seeking for a better work-life balance and career growth opportunities, explore your options and apply for a job that fits your skills and expectations.

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