As organizations across Southeast Asia continue to consider, adopt, and refine hybrid work models, new research from Qualtrics reveals a third of employees (34 per cent) would look for a new job if forced back to office full-time.
With hybrid now the clear preferred way of working in the region, the most popular arrangement among employees is three days remote / two days in the office.
At a time when local employers are navigating a significant shift in the traditional ways of working, findings from the Qualtrics 2022 Employee Experience Trends report are an important reminder of the need to align the employee experience with people’s expectations in order to enable teams and attract and retain talent in competitive job markets.
One of the most pressing challenges for employers in the shift to hybrid is prioritizing long-term employee wellbeing and setting clear guidelines for ways of working.
Despite countries in Southeast Asia reporting some of the highest levels of wellbeing globally, there has been a drop in employee resilience over the last 12 months – Thailand has suffered a 12 per cent decrease in resilience. This suggests the current levels of wellbeing are not sustainable unless employers focus on improving resilience among their teams.
Improving the technology experience for employees in hybrid environments should also be a strategic focus in 2022. Only 30 per cent of respondents said the technology provided meets their expectations – with the figure as low as 24 per cent in Singapore.
Investing in improving technology in the hybrid workplace will pay off in many ways. Beyond helping drive productivity, the Qualtrics research shows employees’ who are satisfied with the technology available are four times more likely to be engaged at work.
While employee intent to stay is higher in Southeast Asia compared to the global average, in most countries there has been a drop in the number of employees planning to stay with their current employer this year. Findings show that 7 in 10 employees in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines will stick with their job this year, compared to 53 per cent in Singapore.
For employers wanting to increase retention in competitive job markets, creating a culture of belonging was identified as the top driver of intent to stay. Ensuring employees felt like their career goals could be met, prioritizing wellbeing, and aligning individuals with the strategic goals of the company were also called out.
The Qualtrics research reinforces the importance of regularly listening, understanding, and acting on employee feedback to ensure employee needs are being met as part of the transformation underway.
By better and more frequently understanding the complete employee experience delivered – from the technology used through to the drivers of retention – organisations can quickly and confidently design new and improved offerings aligned to changing employee expectations.
“To successfully navigate the shift to hybrid, and effectively compete in the race for talent, businesses across Southeast Asia must continue to adopt new mindsets, and define and iterate their ways of working,” said Employee Experience Solutions Strategist for Qualtrics in Southeast Asia, Lauren Huntington.
“As seen in the Qualtrics research, addressing the challenges faced are not as simple as setting new work schedules or boosting engagement.
People have varied needs in today’s working environments, meaning the ability to quickly and easily identify and respond to the issues having the biggest impact with tools like Qualtrics is a significant advantage,” she added.