While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital adoption in Malaysia’s workplaces and stirred change with regards to flexibility, upskilling and employee wellbeing, there may be room for improvement in these areas still, finds the new ‘Uncovering the DNA of the Future Workplace’ report by recruiting experts Hays.

Majority unsure if their workplace is ‘future-ready’

The report, that surveyed over 9,000 working professionals across Asia in February this year and again in September this year, revealed that most respondents in Malaysia remain unsure (40 per cent) if they could describe their organisation as future-ready; but they are sure about what will get them there – digitalisation of processes (81 per cent), openness to change (77 per cent) and the option to work remotely and flexibly (68 per cent), with the latter being the highest such score in Asia by some distance. Increased training and development opportunities (64 per cent) along with redesigning existing roles (into hybrid or part time for example), were also high on the list, with the latter again being the highest in Asia by some distance.

These findings are in line with the regional average, with less than half of total respondents across Asia (37 per cent) being confident that their organisation is future ready, and the majority saying that openness to change (71 per cent) and digitalisation of processes (71 per cent) is what will help their organisation get there.

Increasing digital confidence

Overall, respondents in Malaysia are more confident now that their organisation is sufficiently placed to realise its goals and maintain relevancy in the next 3-5 years (55 per cent) than they were pre-covid (43 per cent). While this is a significant increase, it is still the lowest such score in Asia after Japan (43 per cent).

85 per cent of respondents in Malaysia said their organisation’s digitalisation journey was important/very important to them regardless of their role, with the majority saying that video conferencing software (85 per cent) and remote working access (83 per cent) were the most important tools for them to consider when joining a new workplace. But while video conferencing software saw relatively high adoption before the pandemic (69 per cent) and now (86 per cent), just over half of respondents say their organisation’s currently offer remote working access (66 per cent), with even less offering cloud based storage and systems (49 per cent). The latter are both lowest scores in the region after China (64 per cent) and Japan (44 per cent) respectively.

Respondents also say they are exactly as informed of their organisations digitalisation journey now as they were before the pandemic (66 per cent), indicating either consistent levels of communication or the lack of disruptive change.

Tom Osborne, Managing Director for Hays Malaysia commented, “The majority of respondents in Malaysia have taken a digital-forward mindset and envisioned a workplace of the future to have digitalised processes. With a large majority also saying that an organisation’s digital journey was important to them regardless of their role, technology will be a major and continual area of focus for organisations to not only develop their capabilities but to keep staff motivated and engaged. Considering the speed at which employers are implementing changes, an organisation of the future would be expected to have faster processes and implementation to keep up with employee needs, including remote working.”

About the Report 

The ‘Uncovering the DNA of the Future Workplace’ report is based on findings from two surveys conducted on more than 9,000 respondents respectively across the five Hays operating markets in Asia: China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore; to measure sentiments on the four core elements we believe will shape workplaces of the future: flexibility, technology, upskilling and purpose. The first survey was concluded in February 2020 at the cusp of the pandemic, with the second having concluded this September. By comparing the two surveys, our findings aim to form a definitive understanding of how the pandemic has altered working sentiments, as well as a barometer for organisations as they seek to understand, attract and retain top talent amidst current challenges and those to come.

Download your copy of the full report here.  




About Hays Malaysia

Agensi Pekerjaan Hays (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd ("Hays Malaysia") is one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Malaysia in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions. We provide mid to senior level recruitment services across both finance and commerce industries. We have become known as the experts in sourcing regional and global candidates, as well as returning Malaysians.

Hays has been in Malaysia since 2012 and boasts a track record of success and growth, with two operating offices located in KLCC and Sunway. At Hays in Malaysia, we operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Marketing & Digital, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales.


About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2020 the Group employed c.10,400 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2020:

  • the Group reported net fees of £996.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £135.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 81,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 254,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
  • IT is the Group’s largest specialism, with 25% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (15%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA