Flexible work arrangements important to employees

The Hays report revealed that a majority of Malaysian employees, or 71.6%, seek flexible working arrangements.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian employees view flexible working arrangements as the most important factor when seeking job opportunities, according to a salary report by Hays (M) Sdn Bhd.

The report revealed that a majority of Malaysian employees or 71.6% seek flexible working arrangements, followed by 58.3% seeking career progression opportunities and 54.8% wanting insurance benefits from employers.

Hays Malaysia regional director Natasha Ishak said that the primary reason for employee retention is attributed to flexible work options and work location, with 36.4% of Malaysians opting to remain with their companies, which was consistently rated higher than salary considerations.

“Employers should consider the potential consequences of eliminating flexible work options, especially since it has now become a primary factor surpassing remuneration for retaining workers,” she said during the Hays Salary Report launch.

Ishak highlighted that committed employees may be given more autonomy, while less committed ones will require other means of engagement, and reviewing work-life balance suitably will also keep employees engaged.

The recruitment agency also shared in its survey that Malaysians were ranked third in holding additional jobs apart from their primary one.

The report found that workers in Malaysia lead the charge in this aspect in Asia, with 36.3% citing financial gain as their primary motivation for engaging in multiple jobs.

“It is worth re-examining how we view the prospect of employees moonlighting, especially with the challenges ahead,” Ishak said.

She added, “The gig economy has made pathways to extra income much easier today and is an attractive option for many workers seeking to meet growing financial obligations.”

According to her, moonlighting also served as an opportunity for enterprising individuals looking to gather experience in particular fields or industries that necessitate fluency in certain technical skills.

“This underscores the financial resilience and adaptive nature of the workforce in Malaysia, where employees actively seek diversified income streams to navigate economic uncertainties,” she said.

According to the report, more than half of Malaysian employers were optimistic about the labour market in 2024 despite emerging challenges such as currency fluctuations, disruptive supply chain issues and a shifting regional landscape.

Amidst these challenges, Malaysia will emerge as a potential beneficiary of strategic corporate decisions as companies seek to capitalise on more cost-effective workforce positions in Malaysia as an attractive destination for businesses aiming to optimise operational efficiency, the report said.“The survey found that a third of working professionals in Malaysia were seeking a 3% to 6% salary increase in 2024,” Ishak said.

On the flip side, she said 43% of employers were willing to increase salaries within the aforementioned percentage range.

“The number of organisations that plan to increase employee salaries by this figure is up 3% from last year, which is encouraging,” she said.

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