PHOTO - William Willems, regional vice-president for Regus, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
According to the latest worldwide study from flexible work solutions provider Regus, 87 percent of Malaysian companies said that flexi-working has increased both productivity and revenue.
Speaking on 15 February 2012, Regus regional vice-president, Australia, New Zeeland and Southeast Asia, William Willems said the study of 16,000 senior business managers around the world showed that Malaysian companies have welcomed flexible working.
"[The study shows that] 87 percent of Malaysian companies report that their productivity has increased as a result of flexible working practices, and 87 percent link increasing revenues directly to flexi-working," said Willems. "It is believed to be the first time that independent research evidence has validated the causal connection between flexible working (time and/or place of work) and improved productivity/revenue generation.
"Respondents also report feeling more energised and motivated thanks to flexible working (82 percent), perhaps indicating why they are able to become more productive and generate more revenue," he said. "Flexible working, by improving worker morale and health, is therefore also taking on the important role of talent retention tool, providing businesses with a valuable way of rewarding and attracting resources."
Willems said that other findings from Malaysian respondents showed that 75 percent declare that they work more on the move than they used to. "In addition, 79 percent of respondents say that workers in their company feel healthier thanks to flexible working; while 89 percent of respondents expect a surge in the number of people that go part-time at some point in their career path."
"Globally, small businesses have embraced flexible working more readily than large with 80 percent of workers saying that their company works more flexibly than it used to compared with 68 percent of large business workers," he said.
More part-time workers
When compared to the increase of productivity from flexible working in the region, Malaysia is second only to Vietnam (89 percent of respondents) and ahead of Hong Kong (75 percent), Philippines (68 percent), Singapore (67 percent), and Indonesia (65 percent).
"Technology and network improvements as well as worker demands for a better work/life balance have driven flexible working to become the norm rather than the exception," said Willems. "This survey confirms the business case for flexible working revealing that global businesses see increased productivity and greater revenue generation as directly linked to flexible working practices."
"In addition to these benefits, staff report feeling healthier, more energised and more motivated, which in turn means that staff are happier in their jobs, more loyal and less likely to leave," he said. "As workforce expectations and demands change, part-time arrangements are therefore becoming more common not only for freelancers, working mums and the working elderly, but also generation Y employees going straight into multi-job employment."
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