PHOTO - William Willems, regional vice president, for Regus Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
Though business confidence in Malaysia has dipped, according to a new survey from flexible workplace firm Regus, Malaysian companies say they will continue to hire new staff.
Regus regional vice-president, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, William Willems, said the company's Business Confidence Index study shows that Malaysia has slipped 37 points from April 2011 to 117 this autumn.
"Malaysian businesses are still taking on staff, even though their views on economic growth are not as positive as they were a year ago, as almost three quarters (70 percent) of Malaysian companies report that they plan to increase headcount in the next two years," said Willems. "As an indicator of the changing structure of employment, hiring intentions show a particular emphasis on freelancers, graduates and remote workers - as firms seek competitive advantage now and growth in the months to come."
He said that in Malaysia, a fifth (21 percent) of companies have pushed back their expectations for recovery to the second half of 2012.
"The proportion of Malaysian companies with revenue growth (52 percent) has fallen 22 percent compared with six months ago, those reporting profit growth (32 percent) has fallen 32 percentage points over the period," said Willems. "Nevertheless, almost three quarters (70 percent) of companies plan to hire more employees over the next two years. Signalling a clear move towards more flexible working practices, 57 percent of Malaysian companies say they plan to hire more freelance staff and 43 percent will employ more remote workers in 2011/12."
"The report finds that, six months on from a rosy start to 2011, the global outlook has suffered a clear reverse," he said. "The proportion of companies reporting revenues and profit growth has close to stalled and expectations for the full momentum of recovery have slipped yet again and are now set for the second half of 2012. However, national business sentiment and activity does not seem to be unduly affected, with businesses actively investing in their most valuable asset: people power."
"In Malaysia, freelance and remote working is becoming an increasingly popular solution to increase headcount while remaining flexible and rapidly scalable," said Willems. "In addition to this, by taking advantage of solutions already available on the market, it is possible for even very small operations to establish a low-risk presence in their target markets without making lengthy premises or equipment commitments and allowing them to expand or withdraw depending on volatile market conditions."
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