Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Malaysia was recently interviewed on BFM 89.9 and discussed findings from our web poll where it was revealed 42 per cent of Malaysian employees are prepared to drop their salary by up to 10 per cent so that they can work from home.

Approximately one-third of the 1,137 respondents polled, 35 per cent, said they are happy to commute if it means they are able to obtain an increase in salary. “The cost and time taken to commute to work are the main reasons why Malaysians would consider taking a pay cut to work from the convenience of their own homes”, says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays Malaysia.

This is further supported by the World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor, which stated that commuters wasted more than 250 million hours stuck in traffic jams in the Greater KL area in 2014. The cost of lost hours and fuel added up to at least RM 3,100 per head, or more than 1.1% of annual national GDP, a substantial cost only heightened by increasingly challenging traffic conditions.

“Work location plays a much bigger role for Malaysians compared to other Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan and China”, says Tom. The 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide, a separate report released earlier this year, revealed that 18 per cent of Malaysian respondents considered work location as a key motivator when exploring new opportunities, compared to 11 per cent in Singapore and China and 15 per cent in Japan.

But for some people working from home is not always the solution. As Tom explains, “There are various jobs that do not suit working from home due to the need for face-to-face interaction or sensitivity of information. Presence in the office is also important in establishing professional relationships within an organisation and fostering team culture.”

According to Tom, instead of working from home, flexi-working hours could be an alternative solution. “Flexi-hours allow staff to plan their schedules more effectively and avoid peak hour traffic, resulting in increased productivity and less cost of lost hours for employers. It can also be a popular retention strategy as employees are able to better achieve work-life balance through this arrangement.”

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Genevieve Ho, Marketing Executive SEA, Asia at Hays, on +65 6424 0158 or


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