Half of APAC knowledge workers want power to work anywhere

Workplaces are evolving amidst waves of people leaving or changing jobs, with 33% of knowledge workers in the Asia-Pacific region expected to change either their job or entire career in 2022, according to new research from advisory firm, Ecosystm.

Supported by partner Neat, Ecosystm conducted a ‘Voice of the Employee’ study of 1,043 knowledge workers across Asia Pacific between February to June 2022. The goal was to understand the challenges and preferences of employees as leaders seek to future-proof organisations through to 2030.

Findings show that as competition for talent remains tight, employers are facing increasing pressure to understand and adapt to the reality of hybrid work as the norm and the role collaboration technology plays in its successful delivery.

Staying in tune with worker wants in 2022 and beyond requires investing in technology that enables staff to keep connected and productive wherever they are based as employee attention shifts from The Great Resignation to The Great Re-Evaluation.

With only 15% of employees in Asia Pacific satisfied with traditional work hours, attracting and retaining talent will be strongly influenced by an organisation’s ability to provide flexible and hybrid work practices, the research reveals.

How businesses can do this comes down to workplace design and technology, with offices that are purpose-built to include quiet spaces, collaborative zones, and rooms setup for video conferencing. 

These changes are already underway within the APAC region according to Ecosystm’s findings that showed 32% of organisations are increasing the number of quiet open spaces, 26% are setting up more “hot desks” for workers who spend time both in the office and working remotely, while 23% are improving the office experience with better lighting and outdoor areas. 

Additionally, while 21% of respondents are increasing the size of the meeting rooms, most are choosing a different approach, creating smaller, purposeful meeting and huddle rooms.

Audrey William, principal advisor at Ecosystm, says that the last two years ignited the shift to digitisation and more flexible working models, while also causing people and teams to reconsider their priorities. 

For instance, many have put much more stock in their health and wellbeing and want to be able to work both remotely and in an office.

“To successfully transition to a virtual-led, hybrid work model, organisations need to act swiftly or risk getting left behind,” William said. “As businesses make the move into this next phase of recovery and growth, it’s crucial to understand how we can design our workspaces and leadership teams to give employees what they want and need including best in class technology.”

Simen Teigre, CEO of Neat, said improving EX requires investments into a range of technology capabilities such as workload storage, collaboration capacity, employee wellbeing trackers, and cyber risk management. It can also include virtual whiteboards, noise cancelling headphones, and voice and video equipment.