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A survey conducted by KPMG during the Movement Control order (MCO) revealed that a majority of Malaysians want the work from home (WFH) arrangements to continue after the MCO period.
Out of the 3,022 respondents, a whopping 69% agree that the new normal of WFH should continue. The survey also found that 56% of business owners are supportive of WFH arrangements.
Despite the eagerness to keep this working arrangement, as many as 64% admit to facing challenges that must be addressed as it affects their productivity and willingness to work from home.
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.Chan Siew Mei, KPMG’s Head of Advisory in Malaysia.
Among the top hindrances that directly correlate with reduced productivity are network issues, communication barriers and lack of technology readiness.
To overcome this, the respondents highlighted the necessity of having good network connectivity and speed, better IT infrastructure, as well as having clear WFH guidelines from the employers.
The survey found that when companies implement clear WFH policies and frequent updates, there’s a 21% increase in the percentage of people who agreed to continue WFH.
Executive Director of KPMG’s People and Change Advisory in Malaysia Sharmini Ann Jacob points out that the actions of the Human Resources (HR) department also affects WFH sentiments amongst employees.
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 positively by 7% and 8% respectively.
The new normal
Head of Advisory KPMG in Malaysia Chan Siew Mei notes that the nation is part of a global experiment on remote working.
While she says the learning curve is steep, it’s clear that many are embracing the changes as part of the new normal.
Even the Malaysian government is encouraging this social distancing working measure with tax incentives and job insurance protection via the recently announced National Economic Rebuilding Plan (PENJANA) to restart the economy amidst the pandemic and lockdowns.
So with a little bit of change, working from the comfort of your home could be a permanent new reality.
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