Hybrid work enhancing workers well-being and productivity in Malaysia

* 86% of Malaysian employees say the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier

* Hybrid work has improved total well-being, with 82% saying they saved money in the past year and 72% have gotten physically fitter

* Only one in five employees in Malaysia feel their organisation is very prepared for hybrid work

HYBRID working has improved total employee well-being, work-life balance, and performance in Malaysia, according to a new global Cisco study.

While organisations have benefited from higher employee productivity levels, more needs to be done to build an inclusive culture and fully embed hybrid work arrangements to boost readiness levels and enhance employee experience.

Cisco’s recent study found that 60% employees in Malaysia believe that quality of work has improved and 55% felt that their productivity has enhanced. However, only 20% Malaysia employees think that their company is “very prepared” for a hybrid work future.

“The last two years have shown us that work is no longer where we go, but what we do. In a hybrid normal, employees and employers in Malaysia are experiencing tangible benefits from improved employee well-being to better productivity and work performance,” said Hana Raja, managing director, Cisco Malaysia.

“Leaders need to rethink how to cultivate an inclusive culture, place employees – their experience, engagement, and well-being – at the centre, and modernise their networking and security infrastructure to provide a seamless, secure and inclusive employee experience,” she added.

Hybrid working has improved total employee well-being

Cisco’s research examined the impact of hybrid working on five categories of well-being – emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social well-being – with over 79% of respondents saying hybrid and remote working has improved various aspects of it.

Time away from the office has improved work-life balance for 79% of Malaysian employees and 82% has indicated an improvement in their financial well-being, while 72% respondents believe their physical fitness has improved with remote working. 80% indicate that remote working has improved family relationships and 44% of the respondents reporting strengthened relationships with friends.

Trust and transparency are key in building a successful hybrid work future

According to 74% of Malaysian employees, they want a combination of a remote and in-office hybrid working model in the future, compared to a fully remote (22%) and fully in-office (5%) experience.

However, there is uncertainty over how different work styles might impact inclusion and engagement.

Over half (59%) of Malaysian respondents believe micromanaging behaviours had increased with hybrid and remote working.

“Trust has become a core tenet in our hybrid work normal, alongside flexibility, and empathetic leadership.

“Our latest research indicates that more needs to be done to fully integrate hybrid work arrangements for employees, especially when it comes to building an inclusive culture powered by efficient technology infrastructure in this new world of working that employees clearly prefer.

“Leaders and companies need to commit to actions that go a long way to retain their people – listening, building trust, and leading with empathy, flexibility and fairness,” said Anupam Trehan, senior director, people and communities, Cisco, APJC.

Meanwhile, technology will remain critical to enabling a future with increasingly diverse and distributed workforces. 64% respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly is career-limiting for remote workers.

As a result, 82% say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience, but around 36% say their company still need the right networking infrastructure.

“Technology is a key enabler of growth in the hybrid workplace, and it needs to be underpinned by end-to-end integrated security. Organisations should prioritise a robust security posture that underpins every digitalisation effort and ensure that cybersecurity is at the core of their technology architecture.

“Amid the expanded attack surface area today as more users and devices connect to corporate applications, organisations will need to bolster security and build greater vigilance, through enabling secure access and protecting users and endpoints in the network and the cloud,” said Juan Huat Koo, director, Cybersecurity, Cisco, Asean.

Join the FREE live hybrid webinar, Future-Proof Hybrid Workplace, on July 21 and learn how Cisco improves hybrid workplaces and empower people to work from anywhere on the globe.

The FREE live hybrid webinar is organised by Star Media Group Bhd in partnership with Cisco. Visit bit.ly/starcisco21july to register.

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