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From Singapore to Malaysia, in Asia’s work-from-home tug of war, have Gen Z got the upper hand?

This is a generation of employees who are determined to regain control of their own time and cement a revolution in the way work is done – even as they must sacrifice the security of a job for life that previous generations enjoyed.

Others kicked back against this new way of working, corralling employees back into offices and onto old schedules. Ong knows he doesn’t want to be among them.

“The time I’ve saved on travelling is around two hours a day … close to 20 days [a year], which can be used for your own personal activities like going to the gym.”

Freed from the constraints of office life, Ong spends about one-third of the year jet-setting to different countries – sightseeing or exploring by day and working by night.

It’s a balancing act that requires immense self-discipline, but Ong says it’s one he’s more than willing to strike in the name of discovery and greater control over his time.

“There are days where I definitely feel burnt out … but overall, I feel happy.”

The so-called Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practice require companies to establish procedures for employees to formally request a change in working hours, work location or the number of days that they work each week. And while there are grounds given for rejection, such as a significant increase in cost or worsening of productivity, company culture isn’t among them.

Employers in the city state are already grumbling about potential problems – despite the guidelines not being legally binding.

“I am concerned whether Singapore employers and workers alike are truly ready for such a flexi-work arrangement,” said one Singapore-based business owner, who declined to be named, raising concerns about being unable to prevent staff “slacking off” during office