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Malaysians prefer work-life balance over higher pay

If you thought that Malaysians were into the whole rat race, you’re in for a surprise. According to a survey done by Kelly Services Malaysia, The Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), Malaysian workers would choose a better working environment over higher pay.

The survey, which was participated by 230,000 people across 31 countries in the America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions, shows that almost two-thirds (67%) of workers in Malaysia would prefer work-life balance over having higher pay.

The findings of the survey also showed that 54 percent of Malaysian workers would give up higher pay for a more flexi schedule, while 64 percent of Malaysian workers would choose a job with opportunities to learn new skills over a higher pay.

“While there’s no mistaking that pay is a key driver of employee attraction and retention, workers also value their professional growth and personal fulfilment, and are often willing to make sacrifices to achieve them,” said Melissa Norman, managing director of Kelly Services Malaysia.

Across Asia Pacific, 65 percent of those surveyed would consider the same salary and are willing to sacrifice their careers for an improved work-life balance, 48 percent for a more flexible work schedule, and 37 percent for the chance to perform more socially conscious work.

The survey also canvassed employee views about the preferred style of management.

According to the survey, employees prefer collaboration, teamwork and flexible work arrangements. What participants found least appealing are firms with highly individualised structures and traditional “nine-to-five” schedules.


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