According to one global survey on hybrid/remote-working, 78% of respondents in parts of ASEAN had indicated YES…

In a study conducted between January and March 2022 involving double-blind surveys of over 28,000 full-time employees from 27 countries in 20 broad industries concerning hybrid work trends, 65% of respondents in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (a subset of ASEAN) had indicated that they believed that their quality of work had improved.

A similar number (64%) had indicated that their productivity had been enhanced. Further, 80% had felt their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office. Finally, 28% indicated that their company was ‘very prepared’ for a hybrid-work future.

The study examined the impact of hybrid working on five categories of well-being: emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social well-being.

Other ASEAN sentiments

As far as hybrid-work was concerned, respondents in the subset of the ASEAN region had indicated the following trends:

  • 82% of respondents had indicated that time away from the office had improved work-life balance—compared to the global average of 79%.
  • Reasons cited were “more flexible work schedules” (66%) and “significantly-reduced or completely-removed commuting times” (54%).
  • 73% had indicated they saved at least four hours per week when they worked from home; 32% of respondents indicated they were saving eight or more hours a week.
  • 86% indicated that their financial well-being had improved, with their average savings reaching over US$7,500 a year. Some 88% of respondents ranked savings on fuel and/or commuting among their top three areas for savings, followed by decreased spending on food and entertainment at 75%. Also, 85% indicated they believed they can maintain these savings over the long term; 72% indicated they would take these savings into account when considering changing jobs.
  • 78% of respondents believed their physical fitness had improved due to remote-working. For hybrid-working, 77% attributed it to positively impacts on dietary habits.
  • 86% indicated that remote-working had improved family relationships; 55% had reported “strengthened relationships with friends”.
  • 72% indicated they wanted a combination of a remote- and ‘in-office hybrid working’ model in the future. Some 23% wanted a “fully remote” arrangement and 5% wanted a “fully in-office” experience.
  • 65% believed that hybrid- and remote-working had increased micromanagement by their employers to ensure productivity.
  • 70% considered having “connectivity issues regularly” was career-limiting for remote workers;  
    87% considered networking infrastructure essential for a seamless remote-working experience, while 27% indicated that their organization still needed “the right networking infrastructure”. 
  • 81% believed that cybersecurity measures were critical for making hybrid-working safe; 70% had indicated say their organization currently had the right capabilities and protocols in place. Finally, 69% had indicated that all employees across their organization understood the cyber risks involved with hybrid work, while 74% indicated that their business leaders were familiar with the risks.

According to Tay Bee Kheng, President, Cisco (ASEAN), which commissioned the study: “Working from anywhere now spells out different work styles and schedules, which ultimately impact the level of engagement and sense of belonging for each employee,” suggesting that companies rethink how they are building an inclusive culture, devising employee engagement strategies and deploying integrated networking and security infrastructure to level the playing field for all employees.

In terms of the increased cyber risks of remote- and hybrid- working, the firm’s Director of Cybersecurity Juan Huat Koo noted: “Organizations should prioritize a robust security posture that underpins every digitalization effort and ensure that cybersecurity is at the core of their technology architecture.”