Digital workplace study: Malaysian employees need help

Though 70% of Malaysian employees think they are mobile workers, only 41 percent feel ready.

By AvantiKumar
July 10, 2017

Digital workspace survey

Credit: GraphicStock


  Though 70 percent of Malaysian employees think they are mobile workers, only 41 percent feel ready for demands of working in the digital age, according to a recent report.

Michal Golebiewski (pic below), chief marketing & operations officer, Microsoft Malaysia, unveiled the company's Asia Workplace 2020 report recently to media in Kuala Lumpur.

The mobile respondents said they spend at least 20 percent of their time working outside of their offices but only 41 percent feel empowered by their organisation's culture, said Golebiewski.

Michal - Microsoft Malaysia

He added that only 32 percent of respondents agree that their "organisation is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce."

"As Asia primes itself to become the most connected market with more than half of all mobile connections originating from the region by 2021, organisations need to rethink how they empower their workforce with the right culture, policy, infrastructure and tools to maximise their potential," Golebiewski said.

Rethinking digital age culture

"This means enabling collaboration from anywhere, on any device," he said. "However, it is also critical for business leaders to evaluate and implement changes to counter cultural and management challenges that are hindering employees to work seamlessly from wherever they are, which will in turn, hinder an organization's growth and progress in the digital age."

One of the things this means is that mobile professionals in the market are embracing flexi-work today, and organisations need to look at new workplace practices, especially with the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time, said Golebiewski.

He said that more than half of the respondents (71 percent) value work-life integration today, "where the boundaries of work and life have blurred, but have enabled mobile professionals to be able to collaborate and work virtually."

The report noted that respondents feel that strong leadership and vision (50 percent), access to technology tools for collaboration (48 percent), as well as diverse team members across job functions (40 percent) can help build more collaborative teams.

Respondents are also looking for better devices to help them become more productive at work. Beyond hardware requirements, 33 percent hope to have access to information and data on mobile devices, 31 percent wish for cloud-based productivity tools and 24 percent hope for real-time collaboration capabilities.

"As the nature of work changes, how employees collaborate and work together will be impacted as well," said Golebiewski. "It is critical for business and HR leaders to seek ways to better empower individuals and remove barriers to collaborate for the digital age, especially when the study clearly identifies gaps that can be minimised with technology."

He said organisations will be able to address these gaps at their workplace by adopting new platforms to integrate people, data, and processes, and which create value in a new digital business.

"However, it is also important for businesses to also bridge the leadership and employee gap with more focus on people and culture," Golebiewski added.

The study involved close to 4,200 working professionals from 14 markets in Asia which included 319 respondents from Malaysia.

For some recent Microsoft in Malaysia related news, see:
From hype to reality: Transformation is urgent, said 80% of Malaysia's business leaders - and yet...
'Reinventing productivity' high on agenda for Microsoft Malaysia's new CMO
What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017?

The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.