Article: How important are regular office hours?

HR Consulting

How important are regular office hours?

A study has shown that social interactions and human brain development are profoundly related. How does this link to the fact that work today is mostly done remotely?
How important are regular office hours?

The value of in-person time in the office has been questioned in a quickly changing world that is adjusting to remote and hybrid work methods. Southeast Asia offers an important case study in this global paradigm shift due to its well-known rich cultural variety and unique work dynamics. 

Let's explore the significance of physical presence at work, the effects of hybrid work arrangements, and the evolving nature of Southeast Asian office culture.

The development of human contact

According to anthropological study, social interactions and human brain development are profoundly related. Our brains have changed over time to enable deep social ties that support cooperation, trade, protection, and survival. In the current environment, human connections are still crucial for productivity even as remote work becomes more popular.

Problems caused by virtual meetings

Although they have become a staple of contemporary business, virtual meetings can lack the substance of in-person encounters. According to research, technology can help with communication but generally fails to match the chemistry and synchronicity of face-to-face interactions. This restriction has a role in conditions like "Zoom fatigue."

Choosing the right combination of remote and in-person collaboration

Research sheds light on the right combination of remote and in-person labor as firms debate it. According to a study involving more than 16,000 American workers, working two to three days per week results in the best engagement, well-being, and burnout reduction. The precise choice of office days has little bearing on results, but a heavy reliance on office work might harm employees' feelings of kinship with the company's culture.

Southeast Asian viewpoint

The idea of employment has undergone a radical change in Southeast Asia in recent years. Companies in the area are anticipated to continue providing hybrid work arrangements as a result of the pandemic. The desire of employees is what drives the choice for hybrid employment.

The future of hybrid work in Southeast Asia

Despite the challenges, the outlook for hybrid work in Southeast Asia remains optimistic. Companies have invested in fortifying technical infrastructure to support remote work, and employees have acknowledged the correlation between hybrid work and improved mental well-being. As the world becomes increasingly digitally interconnected, it is anticipated that hybrid work will become the global norm.

Exemplary Southeast Asian companies embracing hybrid work

Several prominent companies in the region have not only embraced but also plan to sustain hybrid work models. Pioneers in this regard include Singapore's DBS Bank, Hyundai Motor Group, Panasonic, SAP, and Hitachi. These organizations have discerned the advantages of hybrid work in enhancing productivity and employee well-being.

Important facts:

  • In Vietnam, 70% of workers place a high priority on mental health, with mixed work patterns playing a significant role.
  • In Southeast Asia, more than 50% of respondents support corporations offering home hardware and paying for high-speed internet costs.
  • The desire to work in an office full-time is expressed by less than 20% of the local workforce.

Impact on recruitment strategies

The cultural change taking place in Southeast Asia has made hybrid work arrangements extremely alluring to job seekers. Organizations must modify their hiring practices and make the necessary technological investments to support remote employment in order to remain competitive. Eight out of ten job searchers in the area strongly prefer businesses with hybrid work cultures.

Redefining work in Southeast Asia

The respect for hierarchy and authority that underpins Southeast Asian work culture is experiencing a significant shift. Relationships are a top priority, work-life balance is sought, and a culture of lifelong learning is fostered. These factors have been identified as key success factors. The area is embracing flexibility since it appreciates it as a desired quality of contemporary organizations.

Even as hybrid work models become more popular, in-person office time in Southeast Asia continues to hold a significant amount of value. To promote engagement, well-being, and a strong organizational culture, the correct balance between in-office and remote work must be struck. Southeast Asia's distinctive fusion of tradition and innovation will define the future of work as it continues to adapt to the changing workplace.

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Topics: HR Consulting, Culture, Life @ Work

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