News Summary

  • 87% of employees in ASEAN say the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier
  • Hybrid work has improved overall well-being, with 86% saying they saved money in the past year and 78% sharing they have gotten physically fitter
  • Around 6 in 10 employees say productivity and quality of work have improved
  • Less than 3 in 10 employees in ASEAN feel their organization is very prepared for hybrid work

Singapore, May 18, 2022 — Hybrid working has improved employee well-being, work-life balance, and performance in ASEAN, according to a new global Cisco study. While organizations have benefited from higher employee productivity levels, more needs to be done to build an inclusive culture and fully embed hybrid work arrangements to boost readiness levels and enhance employee experience.

Cisco’s “Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you?” study found that over six in 10 (65%) employees in ASEAN believe that quality of work has improved. A similar number (64%) say that their productivity has enhanced. Over three-quarters of employees (80%) also feel their role can now be performed just as successfully remotely as in the office. However, the survey of 28,000 employees from 27 countries, including over 6,000 respondents from ASEAN, reveals that less than three in 10 (28%) think that their company is ‘very prepared’ for a hybrid work future.

“While hybrid work has resulted in greater employee productivity and happiness, businesses need to do more to build an inclusive culture and fully embed hybrid work arrangements to boost readiness levels and enhance employee experience. Working from anywhere now spells out different work styles and schedules, which ultimately impacts the level of engagement and sense of belonging for each employee. Cisco’s new hybrid work report highlights the importance for companies to rethink how they are building an inclusive culture, devising employee engagement strategies, and deploying integrated networking and security infrastructure to level the playing field for all employees,” said Tay Bee Kheng, President, Cisco ASEAN.

Hybrid working has improved total employee wellbeing

Cisco’s research examined the impact of hybrid working on five categories of well-being – emotional, financial, mental, physical, and social well-being – with four-fifths of respondents (80%) saying hybrid and remote working has improved various aspects of their well-being.

Time away from the office has improved work-life balance for 82% of employees in ASEAN – a sentiment more significantly felt in the region compared to the global average of 79%. More flexible work schedules (66%) and significantly reduced or completely removed commuting times (54%) contributed to this improvement. Nearly two-thirds of people (73%) saved at least four hours per week when they worked from home, and nearly one-third (32%) of respondents saved eight or more hours a week.

A significant majority of ASEAN respondents (86%) also say that their financial well-being improved, with their average savings reaching over US$7,500 a year. A sizeable 88% ranked savings on fuel and/or commuting among their top three areas for savings, followed by decreased spending on food and entertainment at 75%. More than eight in 10 (85%) believe they can maintain these savings over the long term, and 72% would take these savings into account when considering changing jobs.

In addition, more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents believe their physical fitness has improved with remote working.  A similar number (77%) say hybrid working has positively impacted their eating habits.

A significant majority (86%) indicate that remote working has improved family relationships and more than half (55%) of the respondents report strengthened relationships with friends.

Trust and transparency are key in building a successful hybrid work future

The future of work is hybrid, according to nearly three-quarters of employees in ASEAN (72%) who say they want a combination of a remote and in-office hybrid working model in the future, compared to a fully remote (23%) and fully in-office (5%) experience.

However, there is uncertainty over how different work styles might impact inclusion and engagement. More than six in 10 (65%) ASEAN respondents believe micromanaging behaviors had increased with hybrid and remote working. Trust from managers that employees can be productive has been a common and critical theme in their working experience.

“Trust has become a core tenet in our hybrid work normal, alongside flexibility, and empathetic leadership. Our latest research indicates that more needs to be done to fully integrate hybrid work arrangements for employees, especially when it comes to building an inclusive culture powered by efficient technology infrastructure in this new world of hybrid working that employees clearly prefer. Leaders and companies need to commit to actions that go a long way to retain their people – listening, building trust, and leading with empathy, flexibility, and fairness,” said Anupam Trehan, Senior Director, People & Communities, Cisco, APJC.

At the same time, technology will remain critical to enabling a future with increasingly diverse and distributed workforces. Seven out of 10 (70%) respondents believe having connectivity issues regularly is career-limiting for remote workers.  As a result, 87% say networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless working from home experience, but around 27% say their company still needs the right networking infrastructure.

More than three-quarters (81%) of respondents in ASEAN believe that cybersecurity is critical for making hybrid working safe, but only seven in 10 (70%) say their organization currently has the right capabilities and protocols in place. Only 69% think that all employees across their company understand the cyber risks involved with hybrid work, and 74% think business leaders are familiar with the risks.

“Technology is a key enabler of growth in the hybrid workplace, and it needs to be underpinned by end-to-end integrated security. Organizations should prioritize a robust security posture that underpins every digitalization effort and ensure that cybersecurity is at the core of their technology architecture. Amid the expanded attack surface area today as more users and devices connect to corporate applications, organizations will need to bolster security and build greater vigilance through enabling secure access and protecting users and endpoints in the network and the cloud,” said Juan Huat Koo, Director, Cybersecurity, Cisco ASEAN.


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About the Report

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way people work.  With hybrid and remote working becoming commonplace, the Cisco Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you?  study uncovers insights into how employees have fared over the past two years and what is needed for employees and organizations to thrive in the hybrid working future.  Commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Dynata, the research included 28,000 full-time employees from 27 countries, touching every continent other than Antarctica.  The study was conducted between January and March 2022.

About Cisco 

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet.  Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future.  Discover more on The Network and follow us on Twitter.

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