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

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.
Compensation Strategy & Design|Work Transformation|Health and Benefits|Ukupne nagrade |Benessere integrato
Beyond Data

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
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Rewards Data Intelligence Leader, International
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Talent and Rewards Leader, Singapore
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Head of Health and Benefits, Asia Pacific
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