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Good Bye 9-to-5: It’s Time To Embrace Flexible Working Arrangements

From Jan 2023 onwards, the Malaysian government is encouraging employees to work flexibly where they can choose where and when to work. The traditional 9-to-5 culture is so last century, it’s time to say bye and start doing things differently.

What are Flexible Working Arrangements?

Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA) refers to a working style whereby employees are given greater freedom to choose or change their work schedules depending on their personal needs. Hence, employees are no longer tied to offices or the traditional 9-to-5 working hours. The dream of working while travelling is no longer just a dream anymore.

What’s the hype with FWA?

Suddenly, it seems like everyone is talking about workplace flexibility: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and also Japan. But, why? Why are governments and organizations all of a sudden encouraging managers/leaders to embrace flexible working arrangements (FWA)?

Here’s why:

Attract Talents and Increase Productivity

First and foremost, FWA plays an important role in attracting and retaining your employees. Based on a 2019 study, 80% of job seekers say that they would turn down an offer that did not provide flexible working for one that did. Losing a top candidate does more than just bruise your ego, it wastes time and money and not to mention it might damage your brand as well.

To add on, the cost of replacing an employee could prove extremely expensive, especially for more senior, director level employees. The cost is equivalent to roughly six to nine months’ salary on average, along with the time and effort you have to invest in recruiting and training new employees. Hence, savvy business leaders are using flexible working to retain their talents, increase overall job satisfaction through higher employee autonomy, improve work-life balance as well as reduce commuting time.

Promote Gender Equality

Speaking of attracting talents, we are not just referring to the talents who are already in the labour force, but also the other talents who lie hidden behind their homemaker roles. The implementation of FWA has increased women’s labour force participation rate, as well as their full-time employment rate. FWA provides an opportunity for employees to find a balance between work and family, which is extremely helpful for both working moms and dads. This way they do not lose out on the valuable working opportunity while taking care of their family.

How to request for FWA

However, the real question is, how should employees request FWA? At top of your mind, you might think “just fill in the form or write a formal email and submit it to the boss”. But, is that enough to convince your boss to accept your request? If the boss invites to you a meeting regarding this matter, how are you going to further convince them?

So here comes tip No.1…

Make Use of Your Experience during the Pandemic

As you know (and personally experienced it), the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live, communicate, connect, educate, and work. More than half of the world’s population has experienced lockdown with very strict containment measures. Although everyone was stuck at home, students still studied online and employees still worked from home. Hence, your experience during the pandemic could be used as a supporting point to convince the boss that you can still perform well and deliver good results even when you are not working in the office.

and tip No.2…

Create a Backup Plan

Next, you empathize with the boss. Ask yourself, “If I’m not at the office, what would happen if X occurred? How to solve a crisis? How could I make the boss’s work easier?”. You need to show that you have considered how your new working pattern will affect your boss and how would you minimize the influence.

Some points that you can bring up include:

  • Be clear on what your new working pattern will be;

  • Explain how the work can be managed around your changed hours;

  • Who could cover for you if anything urgent came up;

  • Suggest ways you might be able to provide additional working hours during emergencies;

  • And most importantly, be flexible about what might be suitable for the company’s arrangement.

Alright, enough of the boring stuff. Let’s see how Nairenon does the trick IRL (in real life)!

The Nairenon Method

  • In Nairenon, we encourage independence and autonomy. Hence, our employees are allowed to choose their own hours. We have employees who work from 6 am to 3 pm as they need to take care of their children; we also have employees who work from 10 am to 2 am the next day with short breaks and naps in between.

  • And most importantly, we trust our employees to continually deliver good performance even when they are not working in the office.

  • We do meet in the office (if you’re wondering), but solely for team engagement purposes.

And that’s a wrap for this week. But, if you need more insider tips, send us a note, and we will get in touch with you secretly🤫...

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