Photo - Vijayakumar Tangarasan, Country Manager, Regus Malaysia
In the last month, 92 percent of Malaysian professionals have used at least one remote working app, which points to a continuing mobile workplace trend, according to global workplace provider Regus's latest online survey.
Regus Malaysia's country manager Vijayakumar Tangarasan said the survey, which involved 44,000 senior business people across 100 countries, showed that Malaysia's figure (92) was higher than the global average of 86 percent.
The continuing change in working habitsin Malaysia is significantly driving the take up of 'cloud' applications that provide them with cost-effective access to office tools wherever they are (89 percent), said Tangarasan.
In addition, online tools were helping to ease some of the "other pain traditionally associated with remote working especially through the proliferation of efficient and secure document sharing services." The research shows that Dropbox was the most commonly used online file-sharing service in Malaysia, used by 69 percent, followed by Google Drive (61 percent) and Google Hangouts (33 percent).
To maintain "presence in the office and availability", Tangarasan said that remote workers were using Instant Messaging (IM) tools and VoIP (voice over IP). WhatsApp was the most popular messaging application during the last month in Malaysia (96 percent of local respondents said) with the balance of the top five being: Facebook Messenger (68 percent), Skype (60 percent), WeChat (46 percent) and Viber (31 percent).
He said a summary of Malaysia findings showed that:
- WhatsApp is currently by far the most popular Instant Messaging app for smartphone in Malaysia, used by 96 percent of workers once a month or more;
- 26 percent of respondents in Malaysia had used LINE in the previous month;
- Just 1 percent of those questioned said they had not used an instant messaging tool in the past month
"With more businesses offering staff the opportunity to work remotely at least occasionally, online tools are helping to overcome some of the hurdles traditionally associated with working from outside of the office," said Tangarasan. "From feeling out of touch with colleagues, to being unable to access documents on the company server, technology is bridging the gap."
"The growth in instant messaging applications and document-sharing services in particular is playing an enormous role in helping more people to work flexibly, by enabling more reliable and secure ways of communicating with colleagues and sharing files, from wherever people may be working," he said. "This means that they can be fully operative even when they are not in the office and in fact, they can save time spent travelling into the office or to and from meetings by working closer to home and so boost productivity."
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