Singapore, Malaysia transforms workplace post-pandemic

SINGAPORE/MALAYSIA: With the rapid adaptation of remote work and virtual meetings, enterprises in Singapore and Malaysia are transforming their workspace to meet employee expectations and advances in technology, a new report by advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG) found.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens Future of Work — Services and Solutions report for Singapore and Malaysia report found that recent global events and new consumer technologies have changed employee expectations in the region. More and more workers prefer the freedom to work remotely, or at least part-time. As a result, businesses continue to offer some form of remote or hybrid work policy.

“As the circumstances of work in Singapore and Malaysia change over time, companies will need the flexibility to modify where, and how employees do their jobs and collaborate,” said Deepraj Emmanuel, director, ISG Asia.

The rapid change in work modes in the region has affected some industries more than others, the report found.

The need for face-to-face interaction in certain industries, such as the healthcare and education sectors, continues to grow due to an ageing population. Enterprises still prefer employees to do tasks like negotiating or brainstorming on-site, rather than remotely, since these types of work require a more personal touch that can't happen through technology alone.

However, the pandemic allowed companies to recognise that some roles can be carried out just as well, or better remotely than in the office. Some enterprises are even shifting training and events online to save time and effort.

In Singapore and Malaysia, as in other developed countries, workplace innovation over the next five years is likely to affect new kinds of jobs, especially those that involve onsite customer interaction in industries such as retail, travel and hospitality, according to the report.

“Companies in Singapore and Malaysia need to modernise their workplace for better agility, productivity and employee empowerment,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, of ISG Provider Lens Research.

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