Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey

Addressing remote working challenges and opportunities, we surveyed 120 client organisations across 17 industries, collecting key insights on the major trends that will shape future office environments, and transform how people work.


By Lawrence Lok
Director – Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen

and Ana Wong
Associate Director, Workplace Strategy – Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen

and Jason Chiang
Associate Director, Workplace Strategy – Shanghai

and Daisy Hui
Workplace Strategist – Hong Kong

Key highlights

Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

While restrictions are loosening in many parts of Asia, with some companies having already re-entered the workplace either partially or entirely, an increasing number of organisations are left wondering what their future holds. 

Does remote working still make business sense moving forward? How can we, as individuals, remain on top of our health and productivity during such trying times? In what ways can companies support mental well-being while continuing to grow in the face of new challenges?

These are some of the questions we looked to address in our ‘Remote Working’ survey, which evaluates experiences from 120 clients in 15 major hubs across Asia Pacific. In this report, we uncover key trends and insights on companies’ remote vs. in-office policies, and the solutions organisations can adopt to create futureproofed, human-centric work environments for all.


Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

1 | Office vs. Remote: Balancing the best of both worlds

Respondents have expressed a strong preference for remote working policies providing people with more flexibility and control over where and how they work. Our findings indicate that companies may look to continue adopting this type of working model moving forward. When asked about their future remote working policies, 56% of respondents will “most likely” continue adopting flexible arrangements, while 17% remain unsure at this stage. 


Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section


2 | Enhancing virtual togetherness

Poor Internet connection (52%), uncomfortable home furniture (41%) and unfavorable technology support (37%) ranked as people’s biggest challenges while working remotely, impacting their ability to virtually communicate and collaborate effectively. Companies would benefit from offering upgraded digital tools that are synchronised seamlessly with their in-office technology, as well as comfortable ergonomic options, to enhance people’s work-from-home experience.

Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

3 | Creating a destination for social connections

As inherently social beings, we naturally bear a desire to learn from one another and cooperate with each other. Despite differences in remote work preferences, future workplaces will need to shift the focus of their space configuration away from individual workstations and become more of a vibrant destination, wherein face to face interactions and engagement thrive as its beating heart. A place for people to connect with one another, and the organisation.


Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

4 | Adapting to office density changes

Anticipating future uncertainties, workplaces will require more flexible and adaptable configurations to support changing needs across the organisation. As workstyles continue to evolve in response to shifting market and business conditions, companies may look to behaviour-based design as a guiding principle to future-proof their office environment.

Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

5 | Safeguarding people’s well-being from afar

Without adequate protocols in place, the boundaries between work and home have increasingly blurred throughout people’s remote-working experience. This has led to numerous health challenges, experienced from seemingly constant work demands as well as household disruptions. On the flip side, companies looking to enforce better work-from-home etiquettes while providing staff with more choice and autonomy will be more likely to see motivated, healthier employees in the long run.

Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section

6 | Creating a safe office to return to

While the top four concerns raised in our survey are related to virus transmissions, addressing people’s physical and psychological safety is just as important. This requires clear, transparent communication to assure steps are being taken to upgrade the workplace in ways that can prevent viruses from spreading. From visually engaging graphics to more technical engineering setups, a lot can be done to create a safe environment for all occupants. 

Moving forward in Asia Pacific: 'future of work' survey section
Considering the above foresights, where does this leave your organisation? Is a reduction in real estate expenditure really the right way forward? How can we continue to improve staff morale, motivation, and engagement when not in the same physical environment? Such pressing questions, among others, are addressed in details in our full ‘Future of Work’ report.
To access the report and explore ways to futureproof your own workplace, please contact

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