#July2023 #Asia Pacific #Leadership #Team-Building

Asia’s Workforce Dynamics & the Return to Office

‘In Shanghai, people generally are happy to come back to the office for various reasons, including finding good ways to connect with each other. But in Singapore, maybe not. All are part of “Asian cultures” but have different behaviours.’

‘Particularly in Australia and New Zealand, we’re having problems getting people to come into the office, even just two days a week. Like a lot of companies, we’ve mandated Tuesdays and Thursdays that employees should be in the office. I’ve tried doing “pizza quarters” and town halls bringing everyone in, but they’ve been unsuccessful.’

‘It’s a social engagement process for leaders. This means being purposeful, thoughtful, and well-organised about why people should come in. They know that Tuesdays are cultural connection days, and that Wednesdays are when they get their meetings with clients. There is a cadence to the reasons to be back in; it’s not chaotic.’

The shift back to office work in Asia is challenging corporate leaders, who must consider the varied cultural and generational preferences within their teams across the region. Effective strategies need to go beyond basic incentives and genuinely address these differences. At a recent Asia CEO Forum briefing, members agreed upon three crucial elements: leading by example, showcasing the benefits of in-office collaboration, and accommodating local employee preferences. Moreover, members emphasised the importance of ongoing communication and robust support systems in meeting their team's needs through the transition.

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