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Work From Home Will Stay, But Will Certain Asian Countries Accept It?
December 15, 2020 Blog


With the restrictions and guidelines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations worldwide have put in place work-from-home arrangements for their workforce. This has become a crucial step towards promoting a safer workplace and giving rise to a new working environment that is different from the typical corporate setting.

In fact, a Gartner analysis shows that 48% of employees will likely work at least part of the time remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic. In his LinkedIn post, Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer at VMware, also predicted that a work-from-anywhere setup will become mainstream globally this year.

“Employees working remotely always felt like second-class citizens to their counterparts working at the corporate office. That has changed forever. Going forward, every meeting will have a Zoom meeting as a mandatory calendar option, with 25-minute meetings becoming the norm (i.e. 30-min meetings ending 5 minutes early),” he added.

However, this work-from-home (or anywhere) setup is an apparent deviation from the usual working environment people are used to. Many countries are not keen on such change, especially for Asian nations whose work culture is still rooted in the more traditional ways.

In his prediction, Sanjay asked, “The question will be, will Asian countries accept the remote working culture – especially China, India and Japan?”

Indeed, the mass migration to remote working necessitated by the pandemic was a shock to the system for many long-established work cultures worldwide. In Japan, for instance, where employees are known to overwork themselves past their limit (adversely affecting productivity) and employers are often unwilling or unable to shift business models or organisational structures, some positives could be taken away from all this change.

As described by a commentary from Japan Times, “Working from home can encourage a culture of productivity in several ways. It can push managers to measure work not by the number of hours an employee logs in a chair, but by the number of discrete tasks that the worker completes in a given time.”

They also mentioned that the flexibility enabled by work-from-home practices has the added benefit of making it easier for parents to take care of kids while holding down full-time jobs, which might help increase the country’s chronically low fertility rate.

Japan Times cited that more than 60 per cent of Japanese workers say they want to continue working from home after the pandemic has passed, while some big companies have also declared that some remote work will continue for the near future.

This same trend can be seen in China, where statistics show that more than 60 per cent of people in the workplace had experience in telecommuting. Experts believe that company leaders are focusing on transforming their human resource management models from being work attendance-oriented to task-oriented, as well as establishing new models of team management and employee performance appraisal.

But above all else, this new work culture that is shaping up, along with more flexible hours enabled by work-from-home policies, can provide employees with more freedom to achieve a work-life balance.

These experiences are not that different from ASEAN, as the “new normal” has also brought about significant changes to the way we work. Aside from varying work cultures and ethics, ASEAN countries are also subjected to different natural and man-made disasters. There are storms and earthquakes, which disrupt the workforce from time-to-time. The pandemic has just shown the importance of business continuity during such events – especially with remote working gaining prominence.

Like elsewhere in the world, it seems that work-from-home is here to stay as organisations in the ASEAN region look to capitalise on its benefits. In fact, an IDC survey showed that 50% of the organisations in the Asia Pacific (including ASEAN) are expected to expand or add remote working to their HR policy.

Realising these trends and predictions is not that easy or straightforward, however, especially for countries that have long practised more traditional working cultures. With its Future Ready solutions, VMware aims to fill these gaps in the remote workplace and help organisations implement technologies that are key to business resiliency.

VMware Future Ready Workforce and Remote Work Solutions leverage an infrastructure that can scale to support all your apps and data, providing flexibility for end-users with desktop and application virtualisation solutions.

A distributed workforce requires intelligent device management from the cloud, along with a zero-trust security strategy. Cloud-first modern management with context-aware security features from VMware can keep employees productive and engaged wherever they are working.

VMware also supports a remote workforce that requires a modern, flexible network and access strategy that extends to the edge. With VMware, you can learn about enabling context-aware zero-trust access and uncompromised connectivity, from wherever employees are working.

To know more how you can 2021 empower your remote workforce from and beyond, click here.