KUCHING (November 25): UOB Malaysia has announced that it is giving the majority of its almost 5,000-strong workforce the choice to work remotely up to two days a week once Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted.
Underlying the permanent change is the bank’s aspiration to ensure colleagues attain the right balance between professional fulfilment and mental well-being.
Two days of remote working a week has been found to be the most advantageous for employees to maintain a sense of connection with colleagues and the company and to achieve optimal performance.
The bank’s announcement follows a review of work patterns, workspaces and workforce technology tools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close to 60 per cent of bank roles were assessed to be suited to working remotely, whether from home or a location other than the employee’s assigned workplace.
UOB Malaysia’s new remote work options are in line with broader community sentiment where 90 per cent of people across Malaysia said they expected some form of flexible work arrangement to become more common in a post-pandemic world.
UOB Malaysia executive director and country head of Human Resources, Lai Tak Ming, said the pandemic has transformed the way people work in the future and that the concept of what constitutes a “workplace” has undergone a fundamental rethink.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted companies to make a profound shift from a traditional workplace model to almost fully-remote working, upending the way organisations and employees operate.
“Now as the economy begins to reopen and the country transitions into the endemic phase of Covid-19, we believe that the future work environment is a hybrid work model.
“The flexible working arrangements that we have introduced will provide our colleagues with more autonomy to choose how and where they work.
“A hybrid work model offers employees the best of both worlds as they have the option to work in the office when needed for face-to-face collaboration with their colleagues or to work conveniently at a remote location of their choice.
“It also enables employees to continue experiencing the camaraderie of office life which is critical for maintaining mental wellness, something that has been sorely missed during the long periods of lockdown.”
In addition to its remote work options, the bank will continue to offer Flexi-2 which gives all employees an additional two hours a month off to attend to personal matters during the work day.
Eligible employees will also be able to opt for flexible working hours, beginning their work day between 7.30am to 10am based on their preferred work styles.