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Malaysia’s large enterprises lag behind digital era practices: Microsoft

AvantiKumar | Jan. 29, 2016
Microsoft's New World of Work (NWoW) study is unveiled in Kuala Lumpur.

Michal Golebiewski, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia 

Photo - Michal Golebiewski, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia.


According to Microsoft's New World of Work (NWoW) study, large Malaysian enterprises with more than 250 employees were lagging behind expectations to be more productive, collaborative and innovative in today's modern workplace.

Michal Golebiewski, chief marketing & operations officer, Microsoft Malaysia, said the NWoW Index was derived from respondents who rated themselves highly in three key pillars:

- People (whether today's employees have the capabilities to work flexibly and productively in the digital modern workplace, and are supported by leaders and cultures that help them succeed in this dynamic environment)
- Place (whether employees can work flexibly - anywhere at any time - and if their workplaces support a collaborative, dynamic design with the ability to work at work, home or with customers) and
- Technology (whether employees are empowered with technology to enable them to succeed in this environment, allowing collaborative work wherever they may go).

Golebiewski said only 40 out of 100 respondents in Malaysia rate themselves highly in embracing new People, Place and Technology principles.

"Over the last decade, globalisation and technological innovations have made today's workplace increasingly modern and mobile - bringing the world closer and changing the way people live and work," he said, adding that organisations in Malaysia need to change  to allow employees to be more productive and competitive in today's modern workplace.

Those Malaysian enterprises that adopt NWoW principles are realising a competitive edge and other benefits.  "This study helps us better understand how work and life has changed for Malaysian employees - to determine how well supported they are from their workplaces, or from a technological standpoint, in being enabled to succeed," said Golebiewski.

Digital workplace

He said that while 64 percent of the 200 enterprise employees surveyed in Malaysia considered themselves to be mobile workers, the study also showed that workers feel they need to succeed in today's digital, fast-paced, modern workplace.

Golebiewski said the findings showed that the traditional notion of work was changing, even within enterprises in Malaysia. Some highlights include:

- The responsive organisation: 56 percent of respondents said that they were required to respond to internal stakeholders within four hours; while 54 percent said that they were required to respond to external customers within four hours.
- Work doesn't end at 5.00pm: A majority (77 percent) said that they were still required to be contactable outside of work in order to complete their work effectively.
- Limited mobile productivity in a highly mobile workforce:  62.5 percent of respondents said they needed to be in the office to access special equipment or tools that are only available in the office.
- Bring-your-own-device and Bring-your-own-service culture is increasingly pervasive: Employees in Malaysia were using more personal devices (48 percent) to get work done. 62 percent were also using online tools that go beyond just email - document & file sharing, storage, virtual meetings and social.
- Achieving work life balance was challenging: 82 percent of respondents said that work life balance was a very important aspect of their job, but only 57 percent felt that they had adequate balance today.

"While technology plays a key role to enable 'work from anywhere' scenarios and higher productivity, there are other aspects such as organizational culture, policies, infrastructure, enabling collaboration or the ability to break down barriers to innovation which are becoming increasingly important for an organization to be competitive, especially when many are undergoing digital transformation of their businesses today," he said.

Benefits of NWoW principles

Golebiewski said companies that adopt the NWoW principles were able to gain new business insights, realise greater operational efficiency, communicate and collaborate in real time.

In the study, the top three benefits cited by respondents were:
- To be able to work productively from anywhere (58 percent)
- To share ideas, documents and information with colleagues instantly (57.5 percent)
- To have better insights and data analysis (45 percent)

"We're proud and excited that Maxis had chosen our two social tools - Yammer, which is akin to Facebook for enterprises, and SharePoint, which provides employees with a platform to collaborate and engage with one another by creating, sharing, managing and organizing data," he said. "Today's digital world is driven by the cloud and mobility, and the ability to stay connected and productive when you're on the go. Both Yammer and SharePoint allows the user to do just that - in an effective and seamless manner. We're happy to see that Maxis was able to leverage these two platforms to increase employee engagement and collaboration in such a short period of time."


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