Flexible working to become new norm for Malaysian businesses: HSBC Survey

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — More than 79 per cent of Malaysian businesses identify some form of flexible working as becoming a standard element for their business, higher than the global average of 69 per cent in all markets.

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According to a HSBC Navigator survey, Malaysian businesses also believe that with the adoption of technology and changes in the ways of working, new norms will be established requiring greater agility.

“Most notable of this was more virtual internal and external meetings (62 per cent) and working-from-home (45 per cent).
“There has been unparalleled uptake for Zoom (videotelephony and online chat services) since the COVID-19 crisis began, given the higher demand for distributed, face-to-face interactions,” HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd said in a statement today.

The survey, conducted between April 28 and May 12, 2020, involved 2,604 companies across 14 markets globally, including 200 firms from Malaysia.

The survey’s aim is to measure the pulse of businesses as they adapt to current challenges and highlight the steps they have taken to be resilient.

HSBC Malaysia chief executive officer Stuart Milne said businesses need to adapt quickly to new ways of working in order to remain competitive.

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“It is good to see from our survey that innovation and the adoption of the latest technology are top priorities for Malaysian businesses as they are the major enablers of future success,” he said.

The survey showed that technology is a key enabler, as Malaysian businesses foresee that technology will increase the incidence of flexible working arrangements (79 per cent) and virtual meetings (62 per cent) over the next two years.

“It is without a doubt that virtual meetings and collaboration tools will become standard ways of working in the next one to two years (59 per cent), even as they were seen as most vital during the first half of the year (56 per cent),” HSBC said.

Milne said more businesses in Malaysia are turning to technology to enable their employees to work flexibly, with the survey showing that 95 per cent of businesses agree or strongly agree that in times of adversity, the application of technology can enhance how they work.

“Many companies, including HSBC, are reviewing occupancy requirements in light of the increased use of flexible working.

“Business will benefit through lower costs and more distributed risks while employees will benefit through an improved quality of life,” he added. – BERNAMA

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