One-and-a half months into the regional mass migration to remote-working, a survey is showing some notable trends.

With most cities in our region in ‘lock-down’ with workplaces, schools and other social gathering points closed, the world is adjusting to the ‘new normal’.

As a check on the pulse of mass remote-working in the region, a survey was commissioned by global design firm Gensler.

The survey showed that an average of 68% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, with those working in administrative roles scoring the highest at 84%. About 52% of office and studio directors rated remote-working as satisfactory. In this region, Singapore scored 70%, China 58%, and India 61%, while 59% of Bangkok and Tokyo respondents were satisfied. The Midde-East region scored 79% in this area.

Other findings to note

  • Trust levels are high 
    Across the APME region, an average of 96% of staff felt that their manager trusts them to get their work done; know who to reach out to with questions; know what is expected of them.
  • Above-average empowerment and productivity 
    Hovering at around 67%, this was how respondents in Singapore (68%), Bangkok (77%), Tokyo (61%) and Sydney (78%) felt about empowerment. Productivity levels were highest for Bangkok (83%), followed by Sydney (73%), Tokyo (61%) and Singapore (51%).
  • Half felt personal/family relationship impacts
    Half of the respondents felt that remote-working has a positive impact on personal/ family relationships, especially for those with kids >12y old. The new work arrangement seems to be having minimal reported impact to diet, sleep and exercise patterns.
  • Top 6 favorite WFH benefits
    In terms of popularity by ranking, all respondents appreciated not having to commute to work. This was followed by flexible working hours, time for family and friends online, ability to focus on their work, more time for personal activities, and having a familiar environment to work in.
  • Top 6 least-liked WFH aspects
    The lack of face-to-face personal interaction was least liked at almost 85%, followed by problems with work-life balance, work environment or ergonomics of the home environment. Difficulties in communications and collaborations came next, followed by overcommunication and lastly, issues with software or technology for WFH.

On average, 58% of people surveyed found that remote-working is leading to better work-life balance. This was not the case in Singapore, which at 46% was below average. Tokyo respondents scored the highest at 79%, followed closely by Bangkok (77%) and Sydney (63%).

Finally, Microsoft Teams was cited for highest overall effectiveness as a communication tool, at 75%, followed by emails and phone calls. Across countries, Sydney correspondents found Cisco WebEx and Zoom most effective, while those in Bangkok found goto meetings most effective. Whatsapp came in at 67%, while Skype was lowest at 66%.