Half of us work remotely, Malaysia above global average

  • Globally, 48% of execs in Regis survey say they now work remotely for at least half their working week; in Malaysia it’s 53%
  • Remote working is here to stay, building productivity, reducing operating costs and increasing staff retention

Half of us work remotely, Malaysia above global averageWHILE the Yahoo! Inc chief executive officer Marissa Mayer may have terminated the Internet giant’s Work From Home (WFH) programme, new research by global workplace provider Regus shows that half the world’s workforce is now productively enjoying flexible working.
The 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator reveals that professionals who are chained to the office desk will soon be the minority. Its research, canvassing over 26,000 business managers across 90 countries, found that 48% now work remotely for at least half their working week.
In Malaysia, just over half of executives work flexibly for at least half the week (53%), Regus said in a statement.
Some chief executives may worry about motivating and managing staff at a distance. But in the Regus survey, 63% of Malaysian respondents (55% globally) said they believed effective management of remote workers was perfectly achievable, and a significant portion of businesses are bringing increasing rigour to managing their remote staff.
“Flexible working is a winner for all concerned when the management team takes the lead,” said Regus chief executive officer Mark Dixon.
“The business people we speak with tell us that trust and freedom play a key role in remote management and, once these are in place, the benefits are clear for all to see: Greater productivity, improved staff retention and lower operating costs,” he said.

Regus’ survey shows that 61% of companies in Malaysia (higher than the 37% global figure) use specific efficiency-monitoring reporting systems, while 65% of remote managers use video calls to communicate with their teams (43% globally).
The flexible work experience can have a particular value for younger workers. Thirty-nine percent of respondents in Malaysia believe that junior employees become more responsible through remote working.
In addition, there is a perception that flexible working is shaping a new kind of interaction between line managers and their team members. Forty-six percent of respondents think that remote management helps maintain a more professional relationship.
“Working from home is convenient and family-friendly. But even with a near-perfect home working setup, I still want other locations to work from,” said John Henderson, Regus regional director for Asia Pacific.
“The impact of portable technology and widespread connectivity hasn't been home working, it has been flexibility. Multi-location working is becoming the norm,” he added.
Key findings in Malaysia:

  • 53% work remotely for half the week or more 
  • 63% say that seamless remote management is an achievable goal, but only if managers undergo special training  
  • 63% consider trust an important issue 
  • 61% of companies use reporting systems to monitor mobile employee efficiency 
  • 65% use video communication between managers and employees  
  • 46% believe remote management helps maintain a more professional relationship 

Related Stories:
Working from home: A case-by-case consideration
Indonesian business folk know no bounds when picking a spot for a meeting
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