Entrepreneur

We Ask Malaysian Bosses What Perks Would Employees Expect from A Modern Workplace

Nowadays, what employees expect from their companies are quite different compared to a few years back.

The millennial mindset has sunk into a lot of employees where a paycheck isn’t enough to keep them in their jobs.

Companies now are moving to adapt this new mindset into their policies in hopes of attracting and retaining the younger workforce into their team, and one of the best methods is through perks and benefits.

We’ve partnered with Celcom to feature the Celcom Business Plans (who now have unlimited calls and monthly mobile data starting from 100GB with 5 complimentary lines) to discover what benefits do bosses think are best when keeping employees happy.

We reached out to a few Malaysian bosses to get their opinions on the matter. We also wanted to make it a bit more balanced, so we asked a few young working adults on what are their expectations on workplace perks too.

1) Fully-Stocked Pantry

Most offices come with at least the bare necessities—coffee, tea and perhaps some biscuits.

However, having a pantry filled to the brim with delicious snacks and energising treats can be quite a pulling factor for future employees to consider working for a company.

Our office pantry is a pretty good example of what we’d consider as well-stocked.

Our office pantry is a pretty good example of what we’d consider as well-stocked.

Eddy Han agreed with this, saying that a fully stocked pantry was considered a perk from his employees. Khoo Kah Lee from Second Startup concurred and added that having lots of junk food at the pantry would be ideal.

Oh, and he also added that free lunch would be amazing. One can dream.

Sze Ling: “Whoever that says this isn’t important has never had a cool office pantry. I work more than 10 hours a day so having a pantry full of junk food to keep me awake is a must.”

2) Reimbursed Benefits

Some companies offer employees medical benefits where a certain amount is allocated per month into their salary. Syafiq Azizi mentioned insurance, a benefit that is occasionally overlooked by some companies.

Eddy agrees that it is a necessity but only when controlled to avoid abuse.

“For benefits like medical and telephone bills, we just top up the employee’s salary with a specific amount (RM300–400) to cover those. This will help employees learn to save by not spending the topped up amount,” said Eddy.

Celine: “Yes, yes, and yes. These are the perks I specifically look out for when going for interviews and yet surprisingly, not many offer them.”

3) Office Furniture

Millennials are a restless bunch, and the thought of sticking to just their desk is not ideal. They enjoy the idea of being able to move about and not be trapped to just one place.

Mohammad Nurdin from Soding gave the examples of sofas, bean bags, and even a pool table as nice things to have in the office as it would provide a better incentive for employees to work.

Muhamad Abdul Hay took it up a notch and mentioned a massage chair.

Now I have to say, that would be an excellent perk to have (hint to our office HR).

Fathi: “I think this depends on the industry. A PR firm doesn’t really need fancy furniture, but I think it’s nice aesthetically. My Instagram photos look ‘yeng’ when I pose on bean bags.”

4) Time Flexibility

Syed Muzani mentioned having flexible hours and the choice of working from home.

Jeson Lee Junzhen from HaloGas agreed with time flexibility being a perk. Not being constricted to a rigid schedule means that the employees get to arrange their lives and schedule to their preferences.

However, this has to be given with caution.

Quote from Adrian Oh.

Wen Yin: “Totally approve of this, but I agree it can be a drawback. I’m also guilty of taking advantage of this and not showing up on time occasionally.”

5) Devices

In some industries, having devices provided to you for work is essential for productivity.

For those in the development field, the right devices or appliances are needed to ensure that the best work quality can be done.

Syed Muzani brought up how for tech jobs, it’s important for employers to provide a large monitor, a chair with back support, and preferably a computer too, instead of getting employees to bring their own devices.

Atreyi: “If more companies offered this perk, there’d be less depressed employees. It’s quite annoying to use your own laptops and phones for office use so if companies provided this, I’d stay longer than a few months.”

6) Incentives

Sherman Yap shared that having profit sharing or project incentive would help employees stay focused so they would be less likely to moonlight around with freelance jobs.

“Skilled workers spend a huge amount of time yet still get a fixed payout. This drives them to seek second jobs to sustain themselves,” said Sherman.

Shazmin: “I feel like this is only for hard working and incentive/financially-driven millennials. Personally I’d think not all of us care much about this.”

7) Product Ownership

Claiming ownership over a particular item can be crucial for some.

Syed Fuqaha from KATSANA said there are employees who feel that knowing that they have sole rights to a product they worked hard on is a major perk.

Quote from Syafiq Azizi.

Adam: “I’m glad someone mentioned this because as a coder myself, I do think this is important.”

Bonus: 8) Experience

Out of the responses we received, there were a number of Malaysian bosses who cited that the best kind of perks employees could ask for are the opportunities that allow them the exposure to the skills and roles they ultimately want to develop.

“Just my two cents but perks are just extrinsic motivation. Now it’s more of a knowledge workforce and information generation. Thus, intrinsic motivation is the next move for employers,” said Leo Lee from TraitQuest.

To the young working adults, there are two trains of thought.

Tara: “I’m not denying experience is important but you can’t not give us the other benefits too. It should be part of the job.”

Azwan: “Experience should be enough. I’m more interested to know how much I can grow compared to having a PS4 in the office.”

A golden rule of perks is for them to cultivate efficiency rather than become a hindrance.

Although some may say that perks are just an addition to a company’s culture and policies, these benefits should have respective guidelines in place in order to foster positive sense of discipline and prevent power abuse.

Celcom Business Plans offer this to employers who are looking to control office connectivity. Through their plans, business owners get to curate and control the company’s internet allocation on their mobile via a Business Portal.

The business plans range from Celcom Business S to L with different allocations according to your company’s needs. The network allows unlimited calls and text which is beneficial for business purposes.

Smaller corporations can opt for the lowest rate which starts from RM490 a month with 5 complimentary lines provided.

Bigger corporations can opt for the M size which gets 550GB for RM2,300 a month and 25 complimentary lines or the L size which gets 1,100 GB for RM4,500 with 50 complimentary lines.

You can find out more about Celcom’s Business plans here.

This article is written in collaboration with Celcom.

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