Why Are We Already Back To The Office, Asia?

Remote working is predicted to be the future, just not our continent’s

Chau Trieu
4 min readJul 28, 2022


Photo by Unsplash on Unsplash

While returning to the office or keeping working remotely remains a debate in the West, it’s already settled in the East.

A CBRE survey conducted in March reported that 38% of companies in Asia-Pacific expect their workers to be at the office full time. Only 1% of employers support the pure remote working style.

“Compared to the U.S., it’s pretty much back to the office from Japan all the way down to Australia” — Dr. Henry Chin, head of Asia-Pacific research for CBRE.

The employers’ demand went against the employees’ wishes as 34% of employees in Southeast Asia prefer to find a new job if they are forced back to the office on a full-time basis, according to Qualtrics 2022 Employee Experience Trends report.

Workers have spoken. Why aren’t companies listening?

What are the reasons?

There are multiple reasons given out by founders and CEOs.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said remote work “doesn’t work for spontaneous idea generation and culture”.

Sean Bisceglia, CEO of Curion shared that the cultural effect of talking to your co-workers face to face is why the company went back to the traditional working style.

But the real reason? Gia Ganesh, vice president of people and culture at Florence Healthcare said it best.

“Humans have a need for control. As an executive, you feel you have better control and visibility if everyone is in front of you.”

That’s a valid point.

However, executives speak often of trust in the workplace. If you have to see your staff work to believe they are actually working, trust is just a convenient delegate for control.

For the past six months, I have applied to 50 companies, 3 of which offered hybrid or remote working in the job description.

When I hopped onto an interview with two of them, the recruiters said the business would much prefer if their employees could work in person.



Chau Trieu

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