Working from Home: What’s Next after the 9-to-5 Era?

HR Insight

Undeniably, it is the end of the 9-to-5 era. As our research proves, 68% of 8,000 white-collar workers across 8 developed nations believe it is time to revisit the length of the workweek, while 74% of them think contracts should be based on results rather than working hours.

In 2020, 71% of Americans are fully or mostly working from home because of the pandemic. There is a high possibility Vietnam soon would go after their footsteps since we are facing a huge wave of infections with no end in sight. Our latest survey in Vietnam shows that 49% of Gen Z prefer working at home while Gen Y and Gen X are more into a 50:50 split.

Conclusion? Companies should think about how to make the switch to a new way of working.

Working from home, a perspective from both sides

Since 2020, surveys and research have been published about working from home from an employee perspective, but what about the other side of the table – the employers and managers?

According to a World Economic Forum article, managers’ biggest concerns with remote work are reduced focus and productivity in their teams. Also, if people are not working in the same physical location, they are afraid that team cohesiveness and company culture could suffer.

For employees, our survey of Vietnam market points out that “teamwork/communications” and “distractions at homes” are the top challenges they must face while working from home. Therefore, most employees expect financial and home-office setup support from their company, not to mention flexible working hours.

working from home - gen z perspective

Eventually, companies also need to address mental health wellness, as 80% of surveyed employees consider mental health important to them, but 33% say they receive no mental health support from their companies. Around 41% of them expect to receive flexible working hours and promoting of healthy lifestyle habits from the companies.

Well, from productivity to company culture and mental health, how do we bridge the expectation gap?

How Hybrid work can close the gap

Hybrid work has been emerging at great speed, not only as a necessity in times of lockdowns but also as a desired practice for the long-term sustainability of the workforce. Worldwide, three-quarters of workers say that a mix of office-based and remote working is the best way forward. In Vietnam, that number is 68%.

Our Resetting Normal research also found that 77% of C-level/executive managers believe business will benefit from allowing increased flexibility in remote working. It is a clear confirmation that hybrid work would benefit both the businesses and the employees, as shown in the chart below:
hybrid working

Although as promising as it can be, challenges are up ahead: how to make the most of hybrid work?

The principles of a work from home policy for employers

Because of the sudden emergence of the pandemic, companies had to take up working from home in an emergency, hence the vague and confusing situations they must overcome. Whatever difficulties may arise, the ultimate solution is a transparent work from home policy, in which scopes, eligibility, measurement, benefits, and support are well-defined.

For this, the International Labour Organization has a well-established guide for your reference:


  • (a) Purpose

    Explain why the company is implementing WFH. It is important to note that WFH is not a formal or universal workers’ entitlement but an alternative temporary arrangement for business continuity and is subject to change as the situation develop

  • (b) Definition

    Define WFH in the current context. Refer to the definition in the relevant laws and regulations, if any. In short, WFH is a working arrangement that workers working from their homes, using Information and Communications Technology, and still fulfill essential responsibilities.

  • (c) Scope and application

    When and to whom the WFH policy is applicable, limitations, and conditions, including other applicable and existing policies. It is important to note that it is at the discretion of the company to implement the WFH arrangement.

  • (d) Eligibility

    Define the eligibility of workers to perform work remotely from home. Base on the suitability of the jobs, the home environment, and the manager’s ability to manage remote workers, there may be workers who are not eligible for WFH.

  • (e) Main elements for considerations

    1. Compliance to company policies
    2. Compensation and work hours
    3. Safety and health
    4. Equipment, tools, and supplies
    5. Technology, data protection and security
    6. Workstation at home
    7. Communication
    8. Performance standards
    9. Dependent care and other family responsibilities
    10. Worker’s compensation and liability
    11. Emergency and illness
    12. Expenses

Download the detailed guide and template.

In addition, leaders should listen to the needs and concerns of their employees to provide timely support. This can be done through periodic surveys, one-on-one sessions, town hall meetings, or anonymous feedback. “The way leaders navigate the workforce during the pandemic can leave a mark in company culture and determine if employees stay for the long haul.,” said Mr. Andree Mangels, General Manager of Adecco Vietnam.

How about an expert assessment of your current workforce and consultation on the best applicable working policy? Contact our team now!

Advice for employees

Everyone must be involved in the work toward the optimal working model. Not just expecting support from the companies employees, should prepare to adapt by pursuing lifelong learning, upskilling, and reskilling should the needs arise. The key is to stay competitive along with the rapid evolution of the market.

Now that we have painted a vibrant picture of the working model of tomorrow. But that picture cannot come to life without a joint effort between parties in the workforce. Whether it is hybrid work or traditional offices; any working model is just the surface. Laying at the root is a powerful sense of responsibility and a people-centric culture that fosters a business’s sustainability and continuity through hardship.

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