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“Future of Work” in the Asian context

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Our founder, Ryan Poon, shares his views on “Future of Work” in the Asian context.

"I first came across the investment thesis of "Future of Work" from the professor (whom is a seasoned angel investor herself) of an online VC refreshment course in the US recently. While thinking about its implication and application in the Asian context, I notice a few differences and challenges as follows:

1.) Employer:

- While big corporations may have more resources and better established internal system and tools required to manage its workforce, SMEs are probably less ready to adopt the required digital tools in order to manage the new norm of their staff working from home. But covid and movement controls are forcing these SMEs and their traditional owners to change and evolve.

2.) Employee:

- Younger generations of founders and workers are inherently more tech-savvy, and on top they want more flexibility and a better work-life balance. But they face the challenges of i.) how to stay focus and self-driven, ii.) where to get support or training, and iii.) whether their performance will be evaluated differently.

3.) Space cost and utilization:

- The negative impact from Covid made business owners actively finding ways to control or even cut costs in order to sustain, and one of the biggest cost items are definitely office rentals. They will also reconsider the utilization rate of the existing spaces they have.

- For employees, unlike their western counterparts, people usually live in smaller apartments and with families, so working from home sometimes are not practical for the long-term, or they would need working-space support nearby.

As a result of this trend, the potential investment opportunities that I can see are:

1.) SaaS - internal and external business collaboration tools

2.) HR tech - online staff management, evaluation, training/upskilling, and wellness.

3.) Space management - connecting landlords and tenants for flexibility and cost optimization."

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