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Remote working jobs on the rise in SEAsia

The shift online throughout Southeast Asia has brought about an evolution in how brands communication with their consumers. LinkedIn’s data shows a 48% increase in companies posting on the platform in June 2020, compared to a year earlier.

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In 2020, we saw unprecedented changes in the workforce. Some organizations streamlined their business functions, causing layoffs. Others revamped, and we saw that there was a rising demand for professionals with a diverse skills set. As we started working remotely, we saw a rise in demand for digital and soft skills. We also saw that employers had shifted from hiring based on credentials, and to hiring based on skills held. We saw professionals themselves take note of these trends and seek to reskill or upskill.

But what will 2021 bring? And what kinds of trends can we expect to see? To help workers in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, navigate the workforce in the new year, LinkedIn has identified  the fastest growing job categories since the onset of COVID-19, the top 15 jobs on the rise in Southeast Asia (including Philippines) and the skills required for them.  

Frank Koo, Head of Asia, Talent and Learning Solutions, said: “This list of jobs on the rise demonstrates that there are still opportunities for job seekers with a range of skills and experience. By adopting a lifelong learning mindset, and being open to picking up new skills through various courses — for example, courses on digital skills or soft skills — workers can prepare themselves to take up these emerging roles.”

For the full list of 15 jobs on the rise in Southeast Asia, refer to this report.

One common and overarching trend we have noticed among almost all the roles on our list is that most may be conducted remotely.  Globally, remote job opportunities on LinkedIn have increased four times since June. Professionals with digital skill sets will find themselves at an advantage in seeking employment opportunities within these fields. 

Other key trends we observe include: 

#1: Consumers in Southeast Asia have gone increasingly digital 

COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of digital platforms in the region. Technology has allowed people to work, stay connected to their loved ones and fulfill their daily needs like groceries, from the comfort of their own home. In fact, 1 in 3 of digital service consumers in Southeast Asia were new to the service. And more importantly, 94% of these new digital users are likely to stick with the service moving forward. As a result, we expect that the demand for workers with tech skills will remain, from specialized engineers, to cyber security talent and data analysts. 

Relevant jobs:  Data analyst roles, software and technology roles, cyber security roles, technology and engineering roles 

#2 Brands have found new ways to connect with consumers, leading to a rise in demand for digital marketers and content creators 

The shift online throughout Southeast Asia has brought about an evolution in how brands communication with their consumers. LinkedIn’s data shows a 48% increase in companies posting on the platform in June 2020, compared to a year earlier. This has led to growth in demand for digital marketers — professionals who seek to engage consumers effectively online, and digital content creators — those who are able to produce entertaining content across a range of channels.

Relevant roles: Digital content specialist roles, public relations roles, digital marketing specialist roles

#3 E-commerce boomed in 2020, leading to a rise of various sectors

In 2020, while online travel and transport services suffered, e-commerce, online media and food delivery services surged. The roles created by this boom do not require traditional educational degrees, or advanced technological skills. The rise of e-commerce, for example, is fueling more demand in logistics for warehouse skilled talent. And it is these roles that may be filled by professionals of varying skills and experience. In fact, globally the majority of people who fill these roles often come from non-emerging jobs.

Relevant roles: E-commerce roles, customer service roles, supply chain roles, business development and sales roles,

#4 Traditional roles have evolved, as a result of COVID-19

In 2020, we saw jobs that were traditionally conducted in-person evolve to be online. For example, we saw a growth in digital lending, education and HealthTech services. This is unsurprising, as 70% of Southeast Asia is now online. Those in these sectors, and beyond, need to have mastered the basics of technology, from communication tools, to social media platforms and basic office software. With these skills, workers will find that more opportunities will open up for them.

Relevant roles: Healthcare and medical support roles, healthcare and medical frontline roles, education roles, finance and insurance roles

To adapt to the rapidly changing job landscape, professionals will need to proactively pick up new skills required for these emerging roles. LinkedIn has various tools and resources to support professionals including:

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LinkedIn lists top startups in PH, highlights rise of digital entrepreneurship, entertainment, education

The Philippines has always had a strong MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector. The pandemic further propelled its growth as Filipinos embarked on micro or solo entrepreneurship to augment their income and overcome financial challenges.

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LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, revealed its inaugural Top Startups in the Philippines list, which highlights the local startups that have shown resilience in an uncertain market environment and are continuing to innovate in 2022.  

LinkedIn analyzed data across four pillars to compile the list: employee growth, jobseeker interest, the attraction of top talent, and engagement with the company’s LinkedIn page and its employees. This is the first time LinkedIn has introduced the Top Startups list in the Philippines.

Satoshi Ebitani, Senior Managing Editor, LinkedIn News, said: “In an uncertain financial climate, what has proven resilient time and time again is the enterprising spirit that startups embody, especially those on this year’s LinkedIn Top Startups list. In the Philippines, we see a diverse mix in sectors such as e-commerce, education, and entertainment, which continue to lead the way in the future of skills by embracing innovation and attracting top talent with their robust cultures. Through this list, we hope to spark meaningful conversations surrounding the future of work and inspire professionals to equip themselves with the necessary skills to thrive, no matter the headwinds.”

New era of entrepreneurship

The Philippines has always had a strong MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector. The pandemic further propelled its growth as Filipinos embarked on micro or solo entrepreneurship to augment their income and overcome financial challenges. This new class of entrepreneurs behind startups such as SariSuki (#2), Shoppertainment Live (#3), Edamama (#5), Growsari (#6), Peddlr (#9), and Prosperna (#10) met opportunities to respond to the demands of the times.

Entertainment, E-sports, and Education companies are thriving 

The success of the live-streaming platform Kumu (#4), led by local creatives and talent, highlights the country’s growing demand for innovative and interactive digital entertainment that champions Filipino voices and perspectives. Meanwhile, gaming and e-sports company Tier One Entertainment (#1) shows the unique potential of this lucrative industry by investing in talent and technology.

“Investing in automation, the right people, and experienced leadership who are open to feedback and the ever-changing status quo of our industry was key for surviving and growing during the pandemic. Pivoting quickly through setbacks is vital to survival in these times,” Tryke Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO of Tier One Entertainment, said. “LinkedIn has helped us tell our story to the world. We’re able to share more long-form content that isn’t as readily digestible on other social media platforms to an audience that is more open to serious or nuanced discussion,” he added.

Education technology (Edtech) platform Edukasyon.ph (#8) saw an opportunity to be of service in response to the disruption in the education sector and emerging concerns about the future readiness of today’s youth.

Growth areas in digital finance

As digital finance becomes more mainstream in the Philippines, the rise of  PDAX (Philippine Digital Asset Exchange) (#7), a homegrown cryptocurrency exchange, indicates the Filipinos’ growing interest in exploring new frontiers in personal finance and investments to diversify and optimize their portfolios, navigate the current economic climate, and benefit from future growth potential.     

The top 10 startups in the Philippines are:

  1. Tier One Entertainment
  2. SariSuki
  3. Shoppertainment Live
  4. Kumu
  5. Edamama
  6. GrowSari
  7. PDAX (Philippine Digital Asset Exchange)
  8. Edukasyon.ph
  9. Peddlr
  10. Prosperna

More details on the LinkedIn Top Startups list in the Philippines are found here.

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Cash may not be most effective way to motivate employees

84 per cent spent more than $90 billion annually on tangible employee rewards, such as gift cards, recreation trips and merchandise in hopes of increasing productivity. 

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Tangible rewards motivate employees when they’re easy to use, pleasurable, unexpected, and distinct from salary, a new study found. 

A recent survey of firms in the US revealed that 84 per cent spent more than $90 billion annually on tangible employee rewards, such as gift cards, recreation trips and merchandise in hopes of increasing productivity. 

“We found that there is, at best, mixed evidence regarding the motivational efficacy of tangible rewards versus cash rewards,” said Adam Presslee, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance. “It is somewhat puzzling why so many companies go to the trouble of tangible rewards when cash rewards also lead to motivational differences.”

Presslee and his co-author, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Willie Choi, used four experiments to investigate the factors driving the preference between cash and tangible rewards. The attributes examined include ease of use of the reward (fungibility), hedonic nature of the reward (want vs. need), the novelty of the reward, and how the reward is presented. 

“Rewards are constellations of attributes, and firms should focus more on the motivational effects of the attributes associated with a reward rather than the reward type itself,” Presslee said. “Results confirmed that each of these attributes – individually and in combination – increases employee effort and performance.”

The researchers recommend managers interested in motivating employees using tangible rewards would be best served to offer tangible rewards that incorporate these four attributes.

“If for whatever reason tangible rewards are the only tool available, our results show compelling evidence that employees are motivated by rewards that are perceived as distinct from salary,” Presslee said. “Therefore, firms looking to get the most out of their reward programs should emphasize the distinctiveness of those rewards, and the attributes above are four ways firms can do that.”

The study, authored by Presslee and Choi, was recently published in the journal Accounting, Organizations, and Society.

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Engaging leadership style may boost employee engagement

Supervisors perceived as engaged leaders in the initial survey did indeed enhance employee engagement as captured in the second survey. This impact appeared to occur via a boost in employees’ personal psychological resources of optimism, resiliency, self-efficacy, and flexibility—these results are in line with evidence from previous studies.

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A new analysis suggests that a particular leadership style dubbed “engaging leadership” can boost employees’ engagement and enhance team effectiveness within the workplace. Greta Mazzetti of the University of Bologna, Italy, and Wilmar Schaufeli of Utrecht University in the Netherlands present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

An employee who is engaged typically has a positive state of mind relating to their work and shows vigor, dedication, and absorption in their work. Previous research suggests that more engaged employees tend to have greater well-being and better job performance.

Previous research also suggests that a certain style of leadership known as engaging leadership—involving leaders who fulfill employees’ need for autonomy, feeling competent, and feeling cared for—may boost employee engagement. However, most studies of workplace leadership styles have focused on a single point in time, without analyzing potential effects over time.

To provide new insights, Mazzetti and Schaufeli explored the impact of an engaged leadership style on work engagement and team effectiveness of 1,048 employees across 90 teams within a Dutch workplace. Participants each took two surveys, one year apart, which included questions about their supervisors’ level of engaging leadership, their own work engagement, and other personal and team characteristics.

Statistical analysis of the responses suggests that supervisors perceived as engaged leaders in the initial survey did indeed enhance employee engagement as captured in the second survey. This impact appeared to occur via a boost in employees’ personal psychological resources of optimism, resiliency, self-efficacy, and flexibility—these results are in line with evidence from previous studies.

Similarly, engaged leaders appeared to enhance team effectiveness by boosting team resources, which consisted of performance feedback, trust in management, communication, and participation in decision-making. Team resources also appeared to affect individual employee engagement.

These findings support the use of engaging leadership to boost employee engagement and team effectiveness in the workplace. Future research could compare the effects of engaging leadership versus other leadership styles on employees and teams over time.

The authors add: “A leader who inspires, strengthens and connects team members fosters a shared perception of available resources (in terms of performance feedback, trust in management, communication, and participation in decision-making), and a greater psychological capital (i.e., self-efficacy, optimism, resilience, and flexibility).”

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