Compared to 6 months ago, 52% of Malaysians said that their employers expect them to be in the office more, 17% higher than the global average. 

Work flexibility remains a hot topic among Malaysian talent four years after the pandemic. Randstad - the world’s largest talent agency - released further data from the 2024 Workmonitor Research in Malaysia. 

The survey reveals that 2 in 5 Malaysians are willing to resign if required to work more frequently in the office. This trend is particularly strong among younger generations, with nearly half of Gen Z (49%) and Millennials (47%) opposed to inflexible work arrangements.

Flexibility in the workplace should encompass all aspects, including diverse work arrangements that promote equity. Despite local employers establishing stricter office attendance requirements, an equitable understanding of flexibility and diversity recognises that the employee experience extends beyond where and when they work.

most malaysians don’t mind being in the office 3 days a week 

According to a study, 2 in 5 Malaysians have made life changes, such as relocating or getting pets, in anticipation of continued flexible work options after the pandemic.

employees expect flexible work to continue after pandemic
employees expect flexible work to continue after pandemic

Despite the rise of remote work, the majority of Malaysians (86%) would work from the office at least three days a week if given the choice to choose.

While talent in Malaysia expects work flexibility, the reality is different. 1 in 2 respondents indicated that their employers have introduced mandatory five-day office work policies.

During the pandemic, many people discovered they could work just as effectively, or even better, from home. This has shifted their perceptions of office-based work, making long commutes and expensive rent less appealing. As a result, job seekers are becoming more vocal about their expectations and are even rejecting higher-paying positions that require daily office attendance.

Flexible work arrangements not only benefit employees by enhancing work-life balance and autonomy but also have significant advantages for employers. By offering these options, organisations can expand their talent pool to include individuals like persons with disabilities and caregivers. This fosters equal opportunities, expands the workforce, elevates employee skills, and contributes to economic growth. In addition to flexible work policies, employers have a range of initiatives available to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

malaysian workers want to be themselves at work

Diversity and equity are important to the younger generations, with 52% of Malaysians would not accept a job if the company is not proactive in improving diversity and equity. 59% of Gen Zers and 54% of Millennials shared the same sentiment. 

malaysians hide their true selves at work
malaysians hide their true selves at work

Even though equity, diversity and inclusion may not always be the top priority when looking for a new job, it has become increasingly important to the modern job seeker. To this end, 67% of Malaysians said that they hide aspects of themselves at work, which may prompt them to look for organisations that provide them with a safe environment where they can be themselves. 

In the survey, respondents ranked top five most important equity, diversity, and inclusion policies in their current and future employment as: 

  • diverse backgrounds in leadership - 47% 
  • gender pay equity - 45% 
  • diverse workforce - 44% 
  • family leave for all employees - 40% 
  • non-discrimination policies (on the website/in job ads) - 31% 

Companies need to recognise that employees are diverse individuals with unique experiences and perspectives that shape their goals and impact their work. By providing equal chances and fulfilling learning opportunities, companies are already strengthening their talent attraction and retention strategies.

download the 2024 randstad malaysia workmonitor report 

Hear the voice of employees around the world on what they want and expect from their employers and how willing they are to ask for it. 

randstad malaysia 2024 workmonitor flexibility
randstad malaysia 2024 workmonitor flexibility

The 2024 Workmonitor research in Malaysia surveyed 517 locally-based employees and job seekers about their career expectations and experiences across four themes: motivation and ambition, flexibility, equity and understanding, and AI & skilling. Download the 2024 Workmonitor to keep up to speed with what’s shaping this new world of work and access unique insights into Malaysia’s talent pool.

gain insights about malaysia’s workforce to hire smarter

To succeed in this dynamic job market, it’s important for employers to gain a deeper understanding of what job seekers want and need. We provide unique market insights and connect you with our team of recruitment specialists who partner with you to develop a smooth and efficient recruitment process as well as build a strong employer brand that resonates with job seekers. 

Let us know your hiring requirements and discover how we can help you attract top talent. 

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