Pay cut to work from home? Malaysians say yes!

work from homePETALING JAYA: More than 60 per cent of Malaysians are willing to take a 10-20 per cent cut in their salary just for the privilege of working from home.

The 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide made this finding based on a survey of 1,137 Malaysian employees.

About 42 per cent of the survey respondents said they were willing to give up 10 per cent of their salary in order to work from home, while another 23 per cent said they would sacrifice up to 20 per cent of their salary to enjoy the same privilege.

According to the survey, the daily grind of morning rush hour traffic and the cost of having to drive one’s car to and from work every day – including parking, toll and fuel – are the main reasons Malaysians are willing to sacrifice part of their salary.

According to Hays Malaysia Regional Director Tom Osborne, the World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor showed that commuters wasted more than 250 million hours stuck in traffic jams in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area in 2014.

“The World Bank data valued such lost hours and fuel at up to RM3,100 per person, or more than 1.1 per cent of the annual national gross domestic product (GDP), calling it a substantial cost only made worse by increasingly challenging traffic conditions,” Osborne said.

The survey also reported that the flexibility to work from home can “greatly improve employee satisfaction” and make the difference in attracting the best talents to help a company against its competitors who don’t offer the same flexibility.

The issue of work-life balance also fared positively with Malaysian employees, with 34 per cent saying it would be a key factor to make them stay with an employer.

Osborne said another 27 per cent of Malaysian employees alluded to the same, stating they would not leave their current jobs because of the convenience of their work location.

The survey also showed that work location plays a more significant role among Malaysian employees in comparison with other Asian countries, including Singapore, Japan and China.

“That is why about 18 per cent of Malaysian employees want to change their jobs due to work location against only 11 per cent in Singapore and China, and 15 per cent in Japan,” Osborne said.

The 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide concluded that employers in Malaysia must be cognisant of their employees’ views on work location and work-life balance, and consider allowing them to work from home, or put in place flexi-place/flexi-hour policies.

According to the survey, employers stand to benefit from such arrangements too, including reduced loss of hours, higher productivity, as well as greater employee attraction and retention rates.