It seems that both the Singaporean and Malaysian workforce desire the best of both worlds.
Microsoft revealed that 77% of Malaysian workers favored the flexible remote work arrangement while 75% of them crave in-person time with their workmates. This finding is similar to a YouGov survey conducted by Channel News Asia (CNA) which found that 60% of workers in Singapore prefer a hybrid work arrangement where they are able to return to the office two or three days a week.
However, at present Singapore and Malaysia have adopted ‘work from home’ as the default arrangement as the former transitions through Phase Three (Heightened Alert) while the latter remains in an Emergency Movement Control Order.
The hope is that in due time both nations will allow for their respective essential and non-essential economic sectors to implement a flexible work trend. However, for individuals to reap the benefits of this flexible work trend, they must improve their employability.
After all, what got you here, won’t get you there.
Be ever curious
“As any parent knows, four-year-olds are unceasing askers. Think of the never-ending ‘whys’ that make little children so delightful – and relentless,” wrote Conn and McLean.
Similarly, in a flexible work arrangement, individuals need to be unquenchably curious about a variety of subjects. They must also have a never-ending desire to learn, to understand, to know how to connect the dots and “see patterns, trends, and insights from all that knowledge,” added Brower.
After all, being ever curious is the driver of creativity and imagination.
According to Brower, “the skills of being able to envision and foresee what might happen are critical to staying motivated, inspired and driven to create new beginnings”.
However, having the ability to imagine amid a fluid work environment is not easy. Hence, to foster this skill is to have a dragonfly-eye perspective.
“Although we don’t know exactly how their insect brains process all this visual information, by analogy they see multiple perspectives not available to humans … think of this as widening the aperture on a problem or viewing it through multiple lenses,” wrote Conn and McLean.
A dragonfly-eye view does not guarantee that an individual will flawlessly operate in a fluid work environment but it ensures that such an imaginative individual is able to see things from a broader perspective and is more resilient to embrace the ambiguity of being in and out of the office.
All that imagination and curiosity mean nothing if the individual is incapable of show and tell. This is because “show and tell is how you connect your audience with the problem and then use combinations of logic and persuasion to get action,” wrote Conn and McLean.
In other words, the ability to show and tell is a visible demonstration of an individual’s ability to be participative and to make things happen.
Be tolerant of the ambiguity
Being curious, imaginative, and actionable amounts to nothing if individuals are unable to tolerate the ambiguity of the hybrid world. Brower noted that “overcoming your natural instinct for clarity and assurance, getting comfortable with not knowing what’s ahead, making sound decisions, and moving forward with confidence, even in the absence of complete information” is a future work skill individuals need to nurture.
To nurture this skill is to have “the realization that our knowledge is always provisional and incomplete – and that it might require revision in light of new evidence,” wrote Conn and McLean.