Two in five Malaysians fear losing jobs in rising digital economy — survey

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 5): Malaysian employees are feeling the threat of an increasingly digital economy, a study by Workday and market intelligence firm IDC found.

"Forty-three percent of Malaysian employees feel their jobs are at risk due to an increasingly digital economy," Workday, a provider of cloud-based applications for finance and human resources, said in a statement today.

In the study titled The Drive for the Digitally-enabled Workforce, it was revealed that while Malaysian employees have a high awareness of digitalisation — with 73% expecting greater use of technology in the workplace, 37% feel they do not have the right skills to compete in an increasingly digital economy.

"Forty-four percent of Malaysian employees feel their managers are not proactively engaging them about digitalization to future-proof their career," it noted.

The study was based on a survey with over 1,400 employees in eight countries across the region, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The findings were amid an overwhelming trend towards digitalization in Asia Pacific, with at least 60% of its GDP (excluding Japan) being digitalized by 2021.

"The research shows there will be growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships," said Jasie Fon, managing director of Workday Southeast Asia.

"This wave of digitalization brings both new opportunities and threats. Businesses in Malaysia must invest in training and reskilling initiatives to ensure their employees are prepared for the challenges ahead," added Fon.

The study also found that Malaysia has among the highest turnover rates in the region with 38% of employees saying they are likely to switch jobs in the next 12 months.

"The main pull factors for switching jobs in Malaysia include better pay and career prospects while a positive work/life balance is the main driver for happy and engaged employees," the report concluded.