KUALA LUMPUR: The Flexible Working Arrangement (FWA) should be encouraged in organisations in large cities as it could solve the problem of employees spending too much time on the road.
It could also increase productivity, said Executive Director of the Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan (pic).
He said contrary to the perception of most employers that the FWA jeopardised operations and made it difficult to monitor employees’ attendance, it did not affect productivity as the working hours and days were suited to the employees and needs of the employers.
“The FWA is really needed now because an employee in a large city wastes between two to three hours a day commuting to and from work because of traffic congestion...the FWA is the best solution,” he told Bernama.
Recently, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the government wanted more companies to implement the FWA so as to maximise productivity and performance.
He said a TalentCorp survey found that organisations which implemented the FWA enjoyed greater employee involvement and better business productivity.
Shamsuddin said the level of awareness of local companies about the FWA was still low compared to developed nations because many employers were still confused about it.
“Employers think they will lose money because the flexible hours would cause productivity to drop, but their fears are baseless as the FWA does not mean less working hours and reduced productivity,” he said, adding that the FWA could also help the nation be less dependent on foreign workers.
He said the FWA would also retain women employees who had served a long time, as most were inclined to resign for various reasons such as family commitments and the high cost of commuting to work.
“The number of women in the Malaysian workforce is still low, only about 53.6 percent compared to the number of women entering tertiary institutions which is more than 63.5 per cent. Many women choose to become full-time housewives because of the cost of looking after children and employing a maid is now high. They also want to spend more time looking after their aged parents,” he said.
Shamsuddin said if Malaysia could increase the participation of women in the labour market to 60 per cent or about one million women employees which is the rate recorded in developed nations and other Asean countries, Malaysia’s dependency on foreign workers would be reduced.
He added that the FWA was also suitable for senior citizens and retirees. - Bernama