APAC firms less keen on constant ‘work anywhere’

Photo by Charles Deluvio

Region-specific pressures will allow just 40% of Asia-Pacific firms to pivot to anywhere-work versus 70% globally, according to Forrester’s 2022 Predictions for Asia Pacific.

Forrester found that one of the reasons why fewer APAC firms will make the shift is due to the region’s large manufacturing and contact centre industries, which typically require a stronger physical presence in their facilities. 

Another noticeable trend for firms in the region to consider is the eagerness of 65% of information workers to return to the office due to high-density, extended-family living situations — working from home during the pandemic made them feel less productive. 

Forrester said striking the right balance between in-person job requirements and employee preferences will be critical for companies in APAC, or they will risk alienating their workforce and potentially pushing them to find other opportunities.

Also, the report predicts that in 2022, trust will become a key business imperative. APAC financial services industry will be the first to act upon the trust imperative. Companies that ignore the trust imperative will lose 10% to 40% of their customers, starting with those unwilling to forgive firms for breaching their trust.

Also, the number of APAC firms to appoint a dedicated sustainability lead will be less than half the global average. Only 30% of APAC purchase influencers say their firms are taking real action such as making their sustainability efforts more transparent and reducing their carbon footprint or e-waste. 

Further,  at least 1 billion people will access world-leading digital government services. Countries like Singapore, India, and Australia already have established digital identity solutions, and more than 20 million Chinese already use the digital yuan, with more trials in the works.

Additionally, 30% of APAC firms with cloud-first strategies will shift to cloud-native. These firms will accelerate enterprise modernisation and implement future fit technology strategies, but this shift will be slow compared to North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“In 2022, after nearly two years of reactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, firms in Asia Pacific will finally be able to proactively address changing customer and employee expectations,” said Michael Barnes, VP and research director at Forrester.

“Too few, however, will fully pivot from the current health crisis to the looming climate crisis,” said Barnes. “Business leaders must adapt to this new reality, laying the groundwork for bold decisions.”