Remote working the new market norm to spur growth of Malaysian economy

SINCE June 10, the Recovery Movement Control Order that was implemented due to the Covid-19 outbreak has impacted the lives of many in terms of career and daily routine. This has taken a toll on Malaysia’s economy; the Statistics of Labour Force in Malaysia (March 2020) indicated an increase in the unemployment rate by 3.9%, affecting the workforce caused by the pandemic.

Because of the pandemic alone, the country is experiencing a dismal recession resulting in an increase of job loss by 42% year-on-year for the first quarter (Q1 2020). According to the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System, businesses are also experiencing a drop in demand by 37%.

With the economy in a precarious situation, businesses are experiencing inconsistencies that are disabling them to hire talents due to the fear of going out of business soon – causing the normal 9-to-5 job landscape to fluctuate. Consequently, working adults have opted for different ways of making a living, with the more popular choice being freelancing. Although many may suggest that pursuing freelancing or self-employed jobs are risky, conversely it turns out to be the exact opposite.

That said, in light of this discovery, and to encourage gig working among Malaysians, the government has announced the allocation of RM75 million to further aid and stimulate the gig economy as stated in the Employment Outlook report for the first quarter of 2020.

Benefiting employers and freelancers

There is no doubt that the new way of remote working has become a trend. According to a study by the World Bank Group in 2018, 26% of the Malaysian workforce forms a part of the growing gig economy and the number has been expanding as Malaysians opt for flexible working hours, in line with their interests and skills.

As the gig economy is driven by flexibility, temporary or self-employed jobs, switching from offline to online work arrangements could further boost business performances in times like these. Embracing the present gig economy will further tackle the economic crisis, and every organisation will benefit equally from engaging a gig worker. The gig workforce is diverse and with the right freelancers, organisations will minimise employee absences, improve efficiency and save costs. Furthermore, freelancers take a significantly shorter time to be hired and are typically on project-basis – allowing organisations a sense of relief in knowing that they are not pressured to keep them for the long-term.

Flexible working hours also saves time for both parties without having to go through the usual 9-to-5 routine. With these flexible hours, freelancers will have more motivation and inspiration to produce top quality work in order to maintain a healthy working relationship that will increase their chances in expanding their clientele.

In addition to this, utilising experienced and well-skilled freelancers also keeps cost at the minimum – reducing employer’s dependence on full-timers to get the work done.

Identifying freelancers on the right platform

With recession not looking to recede anytime soon, businesses need to adapt quickly to the new norm of remote working and tap on skilled talents to get the job done efficiently.

Gigworks, a leading provider of online professional service engagement offers businesses the advantage to identify trusted and skilled talents through a stringent screening process – additionally a protection policy is also applied to ensure both parties comply with the agreement as the payment is only released when the work is completed.

Glenn Tay, chief executive officer and founder of Gigworks shared that a freelancer can provide businesses with a specialised skill set that is meant to address a particular need – who has what it takes to provide top-notch results.

“Our ultimate goal is to build an excellent platform for freelancers to get noticed for their skill set and prove that anyone can be a gig worker. Both flexibility and the growing user base on our platform will benefit both parties.”

“The rate of unemployment is to be taken seriously to avoid further downturn to the economy to ensure every individual can make a living especially during times like this,” concluded Glenn.

The gig economy makes one thing clear; corporate organisations should be able to support the change and adapt to the switch from traditional working. The varying nature of the freelancing industry serves as an imperative platform that will remain very much significant to the future that will create opportunities for a substantial income, and to sustain the economy.

To sum up, while traditional working is still the go-to for a secured income, the gig economy permits independence, unlimited options and a broader horizon that best complement their interest and skill sets.

This article was contributed by Gigworks.

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