Study: 1 In 2 Malaysians Would Leave Their Current Job For A Better Work-Life Balance

Out of the three predominant work generations, Millennials are most likely to change jobs than Gen Z-ers or Gen X-ers.

Cover image via Reuters/Yahoo News! & SME Magazine

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The world's leading human resources solution agency, Randstad, has just released its 2023 Employer Brand Research report, providing insight into the evolving expectation of employees in Malaysia

As the eighth rendition of this study, the report also addressed how employers can refine their brand to attract talent beyond their respective paycheques.

Having reached out to over 163,000 respondents across 32 markets, the study included 2,529 individuals based in Malaysia.

In a comment made by Randstad Malaysia's country director, Fahad Naeem, Malaysia's economy and labour markets have faced unprecedented challenges which transformed the way Malaysians view and approach work over the past three years.

"In an increasingly competitive labour market, employers must stay attuned with what job seekers look for in an ideal employer to build effective talent recruitment strategies. By aligning themselves with talent expectations, companies can better position themselves to attract and retain the best and brightest in Malaysia," he said in a statement.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via SME Magazine

According to the study, 50% of Malaysian employees have considered leaving their current place of employment to improve their work-life balance

After the effects of hybrid working during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was revealed that 53% of Malaysian respondents were required to return to an all-office working arrangement in 2023, a 16% increase when compared to 2022.

While this percentage was listed as the top reason Malaysian employees are driven to quit their jobs, the report also listed the remaining four factors that round out the top five for this category:

1. To improve work-life balance (50%)
2. Lack of career growth opportunities (36%)
3. Low compensation and rising cost of living (35%)
4. Received an offer they could not refuse (32%)
5. Employer shows poor leadership (27%)

Seeking autonomy in shaping their work-life routines, it was stated that Malaysians are primarily looking for flexible work options that may help them realise this vision. However, it was shown that there is some hesitance in companies that are keen on returning to pre-pandemic work arrangements in an attempt to drive up productivity and build a stronger company culture.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Pixabay/Pexels

Among the three biggest contributing generations in the Malaysian workforce, it was found that Millennials are the most likely to change jobs when compared to Gen X-ers and Gen Z-ers

47% of Millennials, which are those aged 25 to 34, were discovered to have the biggest desire to switch jobs among all the respondents.

On the other hand, 37% of Gen Z-ers are expected to do the same, while Gen X-ers, who are those aged 43 to 58, are least likely to change their jobs, sitting at a percentile of 29%.

Adding his insight on the matter, Naeem also stated that enforcing an all-office work arrangement may lead to resistance and disengagement among employees, especially if they are able to prove higher productivity when working remotely.

"Employers need to actively listen to what their employees want and consider how the benefits and drawbacks of different work arrangements would impact job satisfaction and productivity, as well as the company's talent recruitment strategies," he stated.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via 417 Recruitment

Besides monetary compensation, Malaysians have also voiced their need for non-monetary benefits as well, with 96% of the respondents seeking a good relationship with their manager as a necessity

A whopping 69% of Malaysians consider non-monetary benefits important in the workforce. Specifically, these benefits are defined by initiatives that do not provide direct financial compensation to employees, but instead offer intangible benefits to improve the employees' job satisfaction and work-life quality.

Out of 87% of the respondents, here are the top five non-monetary benefits Malaysians are seeking through their employment:

1. Good relationship with their manager (96%)
2. Flexible working arrangements (96%)
3. Convenient location (96%)
4. Good relationship with their colleagues (96%)
5. More autonomy to perform their role (93%)

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Reuters/Yahoo News!

Ultimately, the study concluded that work-life balance in today's society is no longer about rigidly dividing one's day between work and personal life

Expressing his thoughts, Naeem stated that the advancement of technology and increasing demand in jobs have only blurred work boundaries.

"With hybrid work, job responsibilities have merged into various aspects of our lives, which is redefining how people view work in their lives. Talents are looking for organisations that can support this integration so that work can be a source of fulfilment and enjoyment.

"Building a strong support system at work that is rooted in trust, understanding and clear communication can alleviate work-related stress and make work more enjoyable and meaningful.

"Organisations are encouraged to invest in fostering a supportive environment that allows employees to develop and be themselves, so that they can attract talent who share the same values," said Naeem.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via fauxels/Pexels

What are your priorities in the workforce? Do these findings align with things you deem important at your job? Let us know!

Click here to read the full Employer Brand Research 2023 report by Randstad Malaysia.

In 2022, it was revealed that Kuala Lumpur is the third most overworked city in the world:

To encourage a balance in his workplace, this CEO gave a permanent remote working option for his employees:

Here's what some managers in Malaysia think constitute to a healthy working environment:

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