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Work-life balance a top priority: Half of Malaysians ready to switch jobs, reveals 2023 Randstad Report

MALAYSIA — In the wake of the 2023 Randstad Employer Brand Research report in Malaysia, it has been revealed that half of Malaysian employees would consider leaving their current jobs for a healthier work-life balance.

Released today, the report by Randstad, the world’s leading talent company, brings into focus the evolving expectations of the Malaysian workforce in response to changing economic and labour market conditions.

Fahad Naeem, the Country D irector at Randstad Malaysia, remarked, “In the face of unprecedented challenges over the past three years, Malaysian workers’ perspectives towards work have undergone significant transformations. While competitive remuneration and benefits remain a top priority, today’s workers are actively seeking employers who can provide a more comprehensive work experience that fosters a healthy work-life balance.”

He added, “In the face of escalating competition in the labour market, it is imperative for employers to understand the expectations of job seekers to devise effective recruitment strategies. This alignment with workers’ expectations can help companies bolster their ability to attract and retain top talent in Malaysia.”

The survey, conducted amidst the backdrop of a hybrid work environment induced by the pandemic, found that 53% of respondents were mandated to return to a traditional office work setting in 2023. This represents a 16% increase from 2022 and a 34% jump from 2021.

Naeem underscored the shift in workers’ expectations, “Malaysian workers today desire the autonomy to design a work-life routine that suits their needs, with flexible work options playing a key role. Conversely, employers are keen to revert to pre-pandemic work norms to foster productivity and facilitate employee interaction to strengthen corporate culture.”

He warned that enforcing a strictly office-based work model could spur resistance and disengagement among employees, particularly those who demonstrate higher productivity when working remotely. He urged employers to actively heed their employees’ preferences and weigh the pros and cons of different work arrangements on job satisfaction, productivity, and talent recruitment strategies.

“The definition of work-life balance has evolved. It’s no longer about rigidly allocating the hours of the day between work and personal life. The blend of job responsibilities into various aspects of our lives due to technology advancement and increasing work demands is redefining our relationship with work. Employees are now looking for organizations that support this integration, turning work into a source of fulfilment and joy,” Naeem shared.

He urged organizations to build a robust support system rooted in trust, understanding, and clear communication to mitigate work-related stress and create a more enjoyable and meaningful work environment.

The 2023 Randstad Employer Brand Research surveyed over 163,000 respondents across 32 markets, including 2,529 individuals in Malaysia.

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