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The Bank will also continue to offer all employees an additional two hours a month off to attend to personal matters during the workday. Eligible employees will also be able to opt for flexible working hours, beginning their workday between 7:30 am to 10:00 am based on their preferred work styles.

UOB Malaysia is giving the majority of its almost 5,000-strong workforce the choice to work remotely up to twice a week once COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted.

In a recent release announcing the move, Bank said underlying the permanent change is its "aspiration to ensure colleagues attain the right balance between professional fulfilment and mental wellbeing.".

The announcement follows a review of work patterns, workspaces, and workforce technology tools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Close to 60% of bank roles were assessed to be suited to working remotely, whether from home or a location other than the employee’s assigned workplace. The new arrangements also fall in line with broader community sentiment where 90% of people surveyed across Malaysia said they expected some form of flexible work arrangement to become more common in a post-pandemic world, the Bank added.

Commenting on this, Lai Tak Ming, Executive Director and Country Head of Human Resources, UOB Malaysia, said the pandemic has transformed the way people work in the future and that the concept of what constitutes a "workplace" has undergone a fundamental rethink. "The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted companies to make a profound shift from a traditional workplace model to almost fully-remote working, upending the way organisations and employees operate.

"Now as the economy begins to reopen and the country transitions into the endemic phase of COVID-19, we believe that the future work environment is a hybrid work model. The flexible working arrangements that we have introduced will provide our colleagues with more autonomy to choose how and where they work."

In addition to remote work options, UOB Malaysia will continue to offer Flexi-2, which gives all employees an additional two hours a month off to attend to personal matters during the workday. Eligible employees will also be able to opt for flexible working hours, beginning their workday between 7:30 am to 10:00 am based on their preferred work styles.

UOB Malaysia's move follows the wider organisation's move to flexible work arrangements. The two-day remote working arrangement was first announced across UOB's markets in November 2020, where a head office transformation in UOB Malaysia was also announced and is expected to complete in 2022.

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