Reimagine Work: Managing Shifts in Talent Expectations White Paper

37% of Malaysians would take a pay cut to work from home: randstad Malaysia


In Malaysia, work-from-home flexibility has become a basic talent expectation. Six in 10 respondents said that they want employers to offer hybrid work as a benefit to improve their work-life balance, but only 37% are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely.

Randstad – the world’s leading human resources solutions agency – today released the ‘Reimagine Work: Managing Shifts in Talent Expectations’ white paper in Malaysia. This white paper draws insights from Randstad’s new Talent Expectations survey and other research to help businesses gain insights into the changing labour landscape to engage with today’s talent in a meaningful way.

Fahad Naeem, County Director at Randstad Malaysia said, “We have tried to tackle the definition of work-life balance for a long time in Malaysia. With the research supporting the white paper, we now understand that it is all about work flexibility in Malaysia and employers now have more information to develop more comprehensive workforce strategies that will meet these new talent expectations.”

What are the top benefits that can help you achieve a good work-life balance


Being able to work from home / remotely




Good and reliable technology




Shorter working hours on Fridays



Work-Life Balance is all About Flexibility

Three in 10 respondents in Malaysia defined work-life balance as having the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere they want as long as they can meet all the deadlines. According to the survey, 39% of respondents said that they tracked all their projects and tasks to ensure they have evidence of being productive when working from home.

How do you define work-life balance?


Having the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere I

want as long as I can meet all the deadlines




Having enough personal time to do the things I like with the people I care about




Having the ability to incorporate my work into my plans for my life and family



More than four in 10 respondents also said that the best thing they like about hybrid work is that they could have more flexibility and personal time at night and during the weekends.

What do you like best about hybrid and remote work?


I have more flexibility and personal time at night and during the weekends.




I get to spend more time with my family.




I’m more productive at home because I can choose how to carry out my tasks.



 Naeem said, “We have become more aware that time is a non-renewable resource. To an employee, the amount of time they can save from going back and forth to the office can be better spent with their family and friends. This is why we are starting to see many job seekers looking for new employers that offer benefits such as flexible work or shorter working week.”

“Companies that are looking to save costs by reducing the salaries of their remote workforce must reconsider the impact of such a move, especially since employees believe they have become more productive while working flexibly or remotely.”

Tackling Overwhelming Workload

The Reimagine Work white paper revealed that the flexibility to work anywhere and anytime is central to employees’ sense of work-life balance, enabling them to carve out more personal time.

However, when workloads become unmanageable, the impact on work-life balance far exceeds the inconvenience of being office-bound.

An overwhelming workload was the most-cited factor that threatened work-life balance for 73% of respondents. An overwhelming workload could also be exacerbated by other reasons such as poor communication that may lead to overtime as employees will need to take more time to understand and clarify the tasks that were assigned to them.

What are the top situations that lead to poor work-life balance for you?


An overwhelming workload




An unreasonable boss and/or unsupportive colleagues




Unnecessary or excessive overtime




When asked what Malaysians dislike most about hybrid work, 1 in 3 respondents said they are unable to communicate or work effectively with their boss and colleagues and 32% worked overtime because their bosses and colleagues like to send emails and text messages at night and on weekends.

Naeem encourages HR professionals to further clarify their flexible work policy to help improve overall organisational work-life balance.

“Flexible working should not mean that everyone is available for 24 hours, 7 days of the week. If employees end up working more hours for the same salary because of poor communication, it is likely that they will leave for another company as well. HR professionals should be setting clearer policies on flexible work such as fixing core hours for team activities, reducing the number and frequency of meetings and narrowing communication channels down to a few that works best for the company.”

Talent expectations survey

The Talent Expectations Survey is an independent survey commissioned by Randstad that reveals insights on the latest talent trends around work-life balance, work arrangements and work environments through surveying more than 1,200 respondents across Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and Singapore with a minimum sample size of 300 per market. This survey was conducted between July and September 2022.