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70% of employers to implement hybrid work model after lockdown — MEF poll

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 19): About 70% of employers who responded to a poll conducted by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) indicated that they will operate in a hybrid fashion in the post-lockdown period.

The hybrid work model is a combination of the work-from-home (WFH) and normal/fixed hour arrangements.

Only 15% of the respondents said they would fully implement the WFH model after the lockdown, the MEF said in a statement.

“The MEF Quick Poll also indicated that only 27.7% picked the normal/fixed-hours model, while flexible working hours received 20%, followed by shift work at 19.1%,” said the federation. The MEF conducted the poll among its members but did not say how many employers were surveyed.

“The MEF Quick Poll revealed interesting information about how employers intend to manage their business as we begin to live with Covid-19,” said MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman.

“The MEF is continually engaged with the relevant government agencies, particularly the Ministry of Human Resources, on the need to ensure that our labour laws and regulations address the requirements of employers and employees in the future world of work,” he said.

Syed Hussain said that with the reopening of the economy in the new work environment, ensuring harmonious industrial relations may pose an added challenge for certain employers as they try to regain business traction.

“Cognisant of this trend towards work agility, the federation also addresses employers’ needs by designing specific training programmes on human resources development and management, as well as provide professional consultancy services,” he said.

He urged employers to closely look at the current structure of work to create more hybrid work that will be more productive, efficient and of high quality.

“This requires re-examining the working environment, in particular laying out the required infrastructure with more budgetary allocations for digitalisation and IT,” said Syed Hussain.

“We also hope that the telecommunications providers will also look at upgrading and providing stable platforms in order for all this to be successful as all parties need to play our role in the new way of work.”

62% of employers to maintain staff strength

In another MEF Quick Poll, which ran concurrently, members who responded to the question "In which category will your company be in the next six months?", 61.9% indicated that their companies would be maintaining their current staff strength.

Another 31.1% stated that they would be hiring, while 7% ticked “retrenching” as their response.

Syed Hussain said some employers are adopting the “wait and see” approach in terms of hiring as the Covid-19 vaccination rate improves.

“We anticipate a gradual increase in employment as many companies will start looking at rehiring because all forms of business will require staff to operate.

“Employers are hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel and we hope the government, employers, employees and the rakyat will take caution and follow all the necessary standard operating procedures,” he added.

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