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Five Reasons APAC Prefers Agile Work Environment Gone are the days of old fashioned working environment and slow markets, it has all changed for APAC

By Pooja Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Eighty-nine percent employees in the Asia-Pacific region prefer agile working, says a recent survey by human resources consultant Randstad. It's the new trend which has changed the thought process as well as the working environment. Things have changed from the nineteenth century and life has become comfortable like never before. No one could have thought of a smart city in Hefei or Shanghai forty years ago but today these places have become ultra modern and so are the people.

The results of the Randstad Workmonitor Q1 2018 survey was conducted between January and February this year in four Asian markets, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

Of the over 400 respondents, including men and women in the 18-67 age group, 90% said an agile working environment raises their "creativity and job satisfaction" as this gives them the flexibility to work where, when and how they want.

Flexibility is the key factor for the investors to make people work. If they lack this then god save their venture.

Research over the years has shown that despite some drawbacks (think mismatched management, no limits on working hours), an agile working environment can work in the favour of employees as well as their employers. Here are five reasons how:

Boosts Productivity

It's known that agile work environment, which facilitates flexible working, works wonderfully for new mothers and those with parental responsibilities. But it's not just for them. Last year, flexible working experts Timewise surveyed 3,000 full-time employers in the UK and found that eight in 10 either currently work flexibly or would like to do so because it increased control over their work-life balance and, hence, improved productivity.

A 2017 global survey by consulting firm McKinsey found that 81% of the 2,546 respondents witnessed "significant" increase in their overall performance after switching to an agile method of working. In 2013, a Stanford University study said that working remotely increases productivity as much as by 13%.

Improves Health

People who determine their own schedules smile more, and have better mental and physical health compared to those on fixed schedules, says a 2010 review of scientific literature that analysed 10 studies.

Keeps Bad Habits At Bay

People who work in a results-only environment indulge less in smoking and drinking, and sleep and exercise more, compared to those who work on a specific schedule or hours, showed a 2013 study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

Cuts Cost

Options of flexibility, like telecommuting, can help companies save huge expenses in terms of real estate, furniture, and electricity. Between 2005 and 2015, for instance, the Environment Agency of the UK, which has a large following of agile working environment, reduced its business mileage by 19 million miles through, among other things, teleconferencing.

Bye Bye Traffic

Almost 30% of over 24,000 people surveyed across the world last year said not commuting to work is the number one benefit of working flexibly. The survey on flexible working trends, which was conducted by the American multinational corporation Polycom, however, also found that many respondents were concerned that their absence from the office might reflect badly on their careers. Jaya Dass, managing director at Randstad Singapore, addressed this concern in the Workmonitor press release, saying, "Employees who are given the freedom should also have a clear sense of their responsibilities, provide timely updates to their coworkers and keep to their deadlines."

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

 

A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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