Millennials, the generation who is blamed for destroying romance, the music industry, televisions, fashion and many more, seem to have a split of opinion when it comes to working culture.
Many Malaysians raved for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s move when she announced her commitment to push for flexi-hours legislation for working mothers but a recent survey found that a big chunk of Malaysian millennials prefer traditional nine to five working routine rather than given the freedom to work from home and flexible work hours.
According to the latest survey by Randstad Malaysia, it’s found that 90% of employees and jobseekers in Malaysia prefer “agile working” as it allowed them to maintain a good work-life balance but 63% of Malaysian respondents revealed that this freedom had blurred the line between personal lives and work as they felt that they obliged to adopt an “always on” attitude in the job.
Staffing Industry Analysts basing its report on the finding wrote that Malaysia had the highest percentage of respondents who believed that flexi-hours would interfere with their personal lives as they never seem to be able to disconnect from work. FMT reported the global average was 44% with Hong Kong taking 48%, Singapore 56%, and China 51%. Malaysia’s respondents were about a quarter (19%) higher than the global average result.
“Employees who have easy access to work via digital devices may feel compelled to be ‘always on’ and are not always sure how and when to disconnect from work.
“As a result, 76% of employees in Malaysia still prefer to work in the office during business hours (as) the office environment encourages employees to focus better and helps them clearly define the time they need to commit to work,” the survey said.
Breaking down by demographics, the data found that 68% of Malaysian millennials felt that flexi-hours induced more stress while only 39% of workers aged 55-67 opposing the notion.
“Mature workers are also more likely to prefer agile working as they believe that it can improve their overall job satisfaction, with all employees aged between 55 and 67 agreeing with this statement.
“The same demographic also said that flexible work arrangement plays a significant part in improving their work-life balance,” it said.
Randstad Malaysia country manager Ryan Carroll said flexi-hours working culture would only work when ground rules were established between employers and their staff. With such agreement, employees would then only be able to improve work-life balance and boost productivity.