Malaysian workforce calls for WFH to continue

A new KPMG survey indicates that 69% of workers in Malaysia want to continue working from home post MCO.
By: | June 12, 2020

With Malaysia’s movement control order (MCO) having moved into the recovery phase, businesses are gradually reopening across the country.

However, it will appear that most of Malaysia’s workforce do not wish to return to the workplace. In a recent survey of 3,022 respondents by KPMG, 69% are advocating for the retention of work from home (WFH) polices as companies prepare for life beyond COVID-19. However, only 56% of business owners are supportive of WFH arrangements.

Chan Siew Mei, KPMG’s Head of Advisory in Malaysia, said, “Irrespective of readiness or desire, this pandemic has boosted the WFH movement to be a required reality for the masses.

“It’s clear from our study that committed leadership from the top is required to help employees quickly overcome the challenges to adapt to this new normal. The faster the company can adapt, the less impact there will be to disruptions in operations.”

For WFH to work however, 64% of the survey respondents identified the top three challenges that need to be addressed: network issues (61%), communication barriers (14%) and lack of technology readiness (10%).

Besides improving network connectivity and speed, and having better IT infrastructure in general, company leaders were also urged to implement clear WFH guidelines.

In instances where companies implement clear WFH policies and provided frequent updates, the percentage of respondents who agreed to WFH increased by as much as 21%.

HR also needs to play a leading role in facilitating WFH arrangements, KPMG reported. When HR is found to play an active role, employees’ perceived productivity increases by 7%, while sentiments towards WFH implementation and ease of WFH transition increased by 7% and 8% respectively.

Sharmini Ann Jacob, Executive Director of KPMG’s People and Change Advisory in Malaysia, concluded, “Our study shows how HR is a key enabler to helping organisations transition to WFH. Empowering your HR with the right capabilities is crucial to keep employees engaged and productive when implementing new ways of working.”