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What does the future hold for pay, wellbeing and work in Asia Pacific?

Compensation Strategy & Design|Future of Work|Health and Benefits|Total Rewards|Wellbeing
Beyond Data

September 29, 2020

While employers have had to make difficult decisions around pay and work this year, many are preparing for a more optimistic future.

What does the future hold for pay, wellbeing and work in Asia Pacific?

What does the future hold for pay, wellbeing and work in Asia Pacific?

COVID-19 has had a major impact on business outlook

Employers took swift action on pay and hiring

  • 47% of organisations anticipate a moderate to large negative impact on their business in the next year
  • 52% initially froze or reduced hiring
  • 5% implemented a salary increase freeze, four times higher than last year

Employees globally had overwhelming concerns and challenges at the peak of crisis

  • 89% reported anxiety related to COVID-19
  • 70% reported new financial concerns
  • 67% reported at least some work distractions

Pay and talent trends show Asia Pacific is optimistic of a rebound

  • Average salary increases are projected to bounce back from 5.2% to 5.7% in 2021
  • 72% of organisations now plan to maintain headcount for the next 12 months, 11% plan to increase
  • 17 of 20 Asia Pacific markets expect their salary budgets to rebound next year

Employers continue to prioritise employee wellbeing

  • 86% continued to provide retirement and medical benefits for furloughed employees
  • 40% plan to enhance wellbeing programs over the next six months
  • 31% offered or expanded access to mental health services
  • 26% offered or expanded access to telemedicine

Many are optimising their workforce to find new ways of working

  • 59% are adjusting the role of the workplace and what work should be done onsite versus remotely
  • 34% are focused on new ways of working and organising work as they emerge from the current crisis
  • 22% are already implementing new ways of working, workforce scaling and reskilling

Key considerations for employers

  • Enhance your employee listening strategies and prioritise the employee experience
  • Take a holistic view to support your employee’s physical, emotional, financial and social wellbeing
  • Train managers to effectively manage their teams remotely and identify employees who need help
  • Keep in touch with the latest market data to make effective and competitive decisions around pay
  • Align total rewards with new ways of working
  • Ensure responsible work redesign, identify opportunities for workforce optimisation and longer-term upskilling and reskilling

Sources: Asia Pacific Restoring Stability Survey – Pay, Benefits, Wellbeing; Salary Budget Planning Q3 Survey Report; Actions to Restore Stability Survey; WTW Employee Opinion Norm Database – August 2020


Regional practice leader, Employee Insights,
Asia & Australasia, Willis Towers Watson

Leader, Rewards Data and Software – Asia Pacific

Talent and Rewards Leader, Singapore

Head of Strategic Development & North Asia (ex. China), Health & Benefits, Asia and Australasia

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