This article was written by ExpatGo contributor Jennifer Dawson.
Slowly but surely, the world is opening up again – but that isn’t without its challenges. A top level analysis by Deloitte has established that questions over employee rights and regulations will continue to create consternation for policy-makers and businesses across the country.
For expats without the full range of privileges and rights afforded to citizens – and relative inexperience in dealing with the labour culture and tax laws in Malaysia – those challenges become even more pronounced. Making sense of the new system will be key in obtaining and retaining gainful employment over the course of the next few years.
The first question arises over employee safety and health. Remote working does work, but many in Malaysia still view employment as something that should take place in a physical location. As more and more people are vaccinated in Malaysia, there may be a new push to return employees to the workplace.
Accordingly, it makes sense in the first instance to get vaccinated. The use of cold-chain management means that vaccines are available to Malaysia, and the current plans for roll-out are facing a surplus according to The Straits Times, due to low number of sign-ups from at-risk groups. Employees in the country should take advantage by looking to sign up and obtain the vaccination; this will improve their flexibility within the workplace.
BECOMING TECHNOLOGICALLY MOBILE
Flexibility in how you work is just the start for expat employees looking to find grounding in the new Malaysian economy. Analysis by The World Bank placed technological flexibility as key to the recovery of the economy, and indeed, a focus for employees looking to ensure they retain employment and remain a valuable member of the staff for any employee.
Being flexible between workplaces, and tech-savvy enough to fully utilise work-provided platforms and troubleshoot errors, is going to be essential in the modern worker’s toolkit.
Flexibility in location and use of technology will be essential for the modern worker in Malaysia. This much is certain, and has been clearly indicated by analysts and firms across the country. What might it look like in the future? A fully vaccinated workforce with the ability to adapt to quick changes in circumstances is key. As an expat worker, you will bring much needed skills and experience to a market that demands it, and that puts you in good stead to retain and develop within the workplace.
Worker rights are in flux; the nature of Covid, and the impact it has had on workers and their normal patterns, is undeniably something of a challenge for employers and staff to meet. However, the key is in that flexibility – being aware of incoming changes and adjusting your routines to match them will make you a valuable worker.
Covid-19 has unquestionably created a new normal, and in Malaysia it’s presented a new way of working for expats and citizens alike. Adapting to this is key to thriving and finding new opportunities in the market. The modern worker is flexible, tech-savvy, and ambitious – with these traits, you’ll be able to adapt to the rigours of the new labour force.
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