9 in 10 APAC workers ditch return to pre-COVID ways

Nine in even 10 workers across Asia Pacific are against a return to ‘normal’ working life, according to a new study released today by Skillsoft. 

Based on a survey of more than 2,300 workers or people looking for work across Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, Skillsoft’s report found that 89% want at least one COVID-19 practice adopted permanently in their day-to-day lives. On average, just 11% of respondents are happy to return to how things were.  

The top practices that workers want to see introduced permanently are flexibility in their working hours (59%) and working from home (58%), with almost half wanting more time dedicated to their physical and mental well-being (47%) and increased family time (47%). 

The study also found that more than two-fifths of respondents are eager for a reduction in unnecessary work meetings (45%) and fewer outside commitments (43%).

Women are more likely than their male counterparts to want more time spent on their physical and mental well-being (51% versus 43%) and fewer outside meetings commitments (48% compared to 38%).

Interestingly, close to one third (31 percent) of respondents also want to see less business travel adopted permanently. 

The study further showed that APAC’s workforce appears more concerned about their own well-being at this time, with 27% of workers ranking health and safety as the number one issue they want business leaders to be prioritising.  

“It’s very interesting to see the emergence of a more inward mindset among workers across the region,” said Rosie Cairnes, VP of Skillsoft APAC. “There is a resounding rejection of the old order.” 

The report also showed the top two issues the APAC workforce wants their employers to support the most are offering flexible work for parents of both genders (38%) and hiring and supporting more older workers (33%). 

Other top line issues include providing more learning and development around racial diversity (29%), ensuring equal gender representation on the leadership team, supporting equal maternity and paternity leave, and monitoring, reporting, and working to close the gender pay gap (25% respectively).