Why Flexible Working is Not Just a Trend: It’s the Future of Work!

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In the dynamic landscape of Asia Pacific (APAC), a narrative of innovation and change is unfolding. Based on recent research by Expereo, this tale revolves around the CIOs of large global enterprises, who stand at the crossroads of growth and the ever-evolving demands of the workforce. It’s a story that speaks to the heart of what it means to be a business in the 21st century.

Our journey begins with a striking revelation: over half of APAC’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) believe that flexible working is not just a trend, but a crucial element in attracting and retaining top talent. In a region known for its rapid growth and technological advancements, these leaders are navigating uncharted territories in the quest for skilled employees.

The landscape of work is shifting. Approximately 44% of these CIOs have recognized that flexible working policies have opened doors to a broader spectrum of highly skilled individuals. This isn’t just about convenience; it’s about tapping into a global talent pool that was previously beyond reach.

The Invisible Hires: A Leap of Faith in Skills

In a striking twist, almost a third (32%) of these leaders have had to hire someone they’ve never met in person, a testament to the acute skills shortage in the region. This is more than just a statistic; it’s a paradigm shift in the hiring process, driven by necessity and the realization that talent knows no borders.

From the bustling streets of Singapore, a statement by Eric Wong, Head of Asia Pacific at Expereo, echoes the sentiment of the region’s leaders. He speaks of the complexities and challenges faced by organizations as they expand globally, emphasizing the need to adapt to the diverse connectivity needs of a scattered workforce. This isn’t just about technology; it’s about understanding the changing dynamics of a global team.

The research on this interesting topic is done and available at Expereo, a global leader in managed network solutions

The Barriers to Growth: A Triad of Challenges

The research, encompassing the insights of over 650 CIOs across APAC, Europe, and the US, sheds light on three major barriers to business growth: challenging security environments, complicated physical and geopolitical infrastructures, and the retention of skills and resources. For APAC CIOs, the hurdles are even more specific: the reliance on legacy systems, lack of local knowledge, and a gap in technology understanding at the board level.

For 42% of APAC CIOs, finding the right blend of business acumen and technological expertise is the greatest recruitment challenge. The quest for competencies in governance, regulatory compliance, data analytics, cyber security, AI/ML, and app development has turned into a high-stakes game, with each skill being a coveted piece of the puzzle.

The Hybrid/ Remote Revolution: A Geographical Expansion

Interestingly, 44% of APAC CIOs have leveraged hybrid/remote policies to broaden their recruitment horizons. This shift has been a response to the talent shortage and a strategic move to harness the potential of a workforce spread across different countries and markets.

The nature of work has been irrevocably altered. Flexible working is now seen as a vital tool for talent retention and recruitment, with 51% of APAC CIOs endorsing its importance. This change has led to a new norm where working three days or less in the office is standard for the majority of businesses in the region. However, this shift brings its own set of challenges. Concerns about productivity, home connectivity issues, and the need for increased office presence reflect the complex balancing act that businesses must perform.

For many APAC CIOs, the benefit of accessing a larger pool of skilled employees comes with the challenge of ensuring application performance across multiple locations and providing round-the-clock support across various time zones.

Looking Ahead: Connectivity and Collaboration

As Eric Wong aptly puts it, the essence of hybrid working lies in staying connected and enabling interaction, irrespective of geographical boundaries. This story of talent, technology, and transformation in the APAC region is far from over. It’s a continuing journey towards a future where flexible working, global collaboration, and technological innovation redefine the very nature of work and business growth.

This research paper is by Expereo, a global leader in managed network solutions, which has been a pivotal force in shaping enterprise and government connectivity worldwide. With its services spanning Global Internet, SD-WAN/SASE, and Enhanced Internet, Expereo’s reach extends to over 600,000 locations in more than 190 countries. For a more in-depth exploration of these themes and findings, the full report is available at Expereo’s website.


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