Remote work trend triggers infrastructure investments across SE Asia

remote work
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Governments and companies in Southeast Asia are rapidly prioritizing data centers, fiber networks, and telecom towers to prepare for the rise of remote work.

A survey conducted by global professional services organization EY revealed that an overwhelming majority of Southeast Asia employees prefer remote work even after pandemic restrictions are lifted.

The study, which surveyed 16,000 respondents in March across the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, showed 80 percent of workers would choose remote employment over a traditional office job following the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

While some companies have yet to adopt remote working practices on any meaningful scale, many are phasing out traditional office schedules and spaces altogether in favor of hybrid work setups.

Governments, meanwhile, are embracing remote working trends and encouraging WFH setups especially as cases remain high. In fact, as early as 2019, the Philippines has enacted a telecommuting act that gives employees the option for remote work, subject to discussions with their supervisors.

Indeed, it would appear to be but a matter of time before all businesses adopt some form of offsite workforce, with Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila set to be among the first cities in Southeast Asia to see mainstream adoption.

For many, working from home represents a positive step away from an office-based environment and towards personalized workspace solutions that are better suited to their needs.

A Randstad Malaysia report suggests that to better accommodate flexible or remote work, HR professionals should implement new policies and adjust leadership styles. They suggest communicating effectively in a hybrid workspace by being genuinely safe while working remotely.

Indeed, it’s not just employees who stand to benefit; businesses operating in this way often find they enjoy increased productivity thanks to less distractions and more efficient use of time.

In a recent Channel Asia Executive Roundtable, experts from around the region weighed in on the future of work, particularly related to key end-user remote working priorities and new levels of value post-pandemic.

“We expect the continued transition to mobile devices, cloud migration and core enterprise applications which in turn will create more OPEX-based opportunities,” said Josefino ‘Bong’ Paloma, Senior Vice President of AMTI Cloud.

An IDC report highlights the fact that organizations are investing in a wide range of technologies, with hardware forecast as the largest area of investment. Businesses will purchase $228 billion worth of endpoint devices and drones by 2021; services including business, IT, and connectivity services is expected to rank second at more than $123 billion.

“One thing we know for sure living in a post-pandemic era is that technology will continue to innovate, empowering new ways of helping employees feel more connected even when working remotely,” said Abhishek Kahol, Managing Director of Intelligent Platforms Services across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at Accenture.

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