Hybrid work in play after HCMC eases social distancing restrictions

By Tat Dat   November 24, 2021 | 12:05 am PT
Hybrid work in play after HCMC eases social distancing restrictions
Staff work at a coworking space in HCMC's District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Nhi Chau
Companies in HCMC are applying a hybrid work model that allows employees to work remotely or at the office or both.

Last week, Thanh, a software engineer with a firm in the Saigon Hi-tech Park, decided he would no longer rent accommodation in the city and to work from home in the southern province of Long An.

Thanh did so after his employer allowed him to make the choice to work at the office or from home.

The engineer said it was boring to work from home for months of social distancing, but it was not all that comfortable to be present at the office all the time, either.

"Hybrid working is such a very good way to harmonize," he said, adding that the new model was helping im save money on house rent in the short term.

Many Vietnamese people now prefer taking turns to work from home and the office.

According to a Work Trend Index report by Microsoft, based on surveys in 31 economies, 81 percent of employees in Vietnam wanted to continue to work remotely and 77 percent wanted to meet their colleagues at the office from time to time. Therefore, the hybrid work model is becoming a trend.

Another survey by PwC Vietnam showed that 33 percent of employees expected their companies to apply the hybrid model. Up to 80 percent of Generation Z (born 1996-2012), who will account for one-thirds of Vietnam’s working age population by 2025, believed that they could effectively work remotely.

Seedcom, which identifies itself as the first company doing new retail in Vietnam, has applied the hybrid work model right at the outset of its establishment, permitting most employees to work flexibly, either at the office or remotely.

The model has helped Seedcom save money on office rent, cut travel time and allow its staff to make work arrangements more actively, said CEO Nguyen Hoanh Tien.

"We applied the hybrid work model 4-5 years ago. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought about applying it longer term to different positions, even those once considered possible on site exclusively," he said.

However, managers are worried about performance and productivity of employees who work remotely. Without proper plans, the model’s flexibility and comfort can easily be abused for other personal purposes, said Nguyen Hoang Trung, CEO of delivery startup Loship.

The Microsoft report said the hybrid work model was suitable for some sectors like technology, communications, advertisement, design, tourism, fashion, cosmetics and consumer goods, but not for those that require strict processes and information security such as banking and the stock market.

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