Malaysia Employees Do Not Feel Empowered for the Digital Age: Microsoft Study

 |   Dashika Gnaneswaran, Communications Lead, Microsoft Malaysia

70% consider themselves mobile workers today yet only 41% feel empowered by their organization to embrace the demands of the digital workplace

Malaysia, 25 May 2017 – Microsoft today unveiled findings of its Asia Workplace 2020 Study[1], where it found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.

While 70% of Malaysia respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices, only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively. In addition, only 32% of respondents agree that their organization is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce.

Launching the Malaysia survey results, Michal Golebiewski, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia said, “As Asia primes itself to become the most connected market with more than half of all mobile connections originating from the region by 2021[2], organizations need to rethink how they empower their workforce with the right culture, policy, infrastructure and tools to maximise their potential. This means enabling collaboration from anywhere, on any device. However, it is also critical for business leaders to evaluate and implement changes to counter cultural and management challenges that are hindering employees to work seamlessly from wherever they are, which will in turn, hinder an organization’s growth and progress in the digital age.”

New Work Styles and Organizational Conflicts Need to Be Addressed

Mobile professionals in the market are embracing flexi-work today, and organizations need to look at new workplace practices, especially with the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time.

More than half of the respondents (71%) value work-life integration today, where the boundaries of work and life have blurred, but have enabled mobile professionals to be able to collaborate and work virtually.

Respondents feel that strong leadership and vision (50%), access to technology tools for collaboration (48%), as well as diverse team members across job functions (40%) can help build more collaborative teams. The Study also found that respondents are seeking better devices to help them become more productive at work. Beyond hardware requirements, 33% hope to have access to information and data on mobile devices, 31% wish for cloud-based productivity tools and 24% hope for real-time collaboration capabilities.

The Study, which involved close to 4,200 working professionals from 14 markets in Asia, sought to understand shifting employee behaviours and gaps in the workplace when it came to productivity, collaboration and flexi-work practices. This included 319 respondents from Malaysia.

“As the nature of work changes, how employees collaborate and work together will be impacted as well. It is critical for business and HR leaders to seek ways to better empower individuals and remove barriers to collaborate for the digital age, especially when the Study clearly identifies gaps that can be minimized with technology. However, it is also important for businesses to also bridge the leadership and employee gap with more focus on people and culture,” added Michal.

Organizations can address these gaps at their workplace by embracing new platforms to integrate people, data, and processes, which create value in a new digital business. One such solution is Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365. It brings together people, conversations, and content along with the tools that teams need, so they can easily collaborate. Built on Office 365, it delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance, and is extensible and customizable to fit the needs of every team.

After the launch of its Workplace 2020 study, Microsoft hosted an experiential event for customers to test their collaborative skills using Microsoft Teams. The Amazing Teams Challenge was organized at Botanical Gardens and saw participants complete challenges across 4 pit stops located at different parts of the Gardens.

One among Microsoft Malaysia’s Cloud Solution Partner, SoftwareONE, sponsored one of the pit stops at the event.  Mr. Iskandar Ahmat, Director, Sales & Operations, said, “At SoftwareONE we measure the success of Office 365 projects by the completion of the deployment and, more importantly, the adoption of technology across the organization workforce. We work closely with employees to ensure they embrace the new technologies which will transform the way they collaborate across the organization.” SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of software and cloud deployment services

The winner of the Amazing Teams Challenge, Xchanging Malaysia, received RM10,000 prize money which would be donated to charity.

[1] The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study was conducted between February and March 2017 involving 4.175 respondents in 14 Asia markets. The 14 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All respondents were pre-qualified as at least spending 30 hours per week in a full-time role, or spending at least 20 hours per week in a part time role.

[2]eMarketer, Most of the World’s Mobile Connections Are in Asia Pacific,