Vietnam: Many prefer to work from home after distancing ends

Ha Thanh Hau of Thu Duc City said she has gotten used to working from home during five months of social distancing. She is just one of many office staff in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City who want to continue remote working when social distancing comes to an end.

Hau is a single mother to a 6-year-old girl, who still has to stay at home and learn online instead of going to school.

Hau said working from home allows her to have more time to take care of her daughter, monitor her learning and keep up with the housework. As the pandemic is still not over, she does not want to hire a domestic helper to take care of her daughter.

“I prefer to work from home for a while longer, until my daughter is allowed to go back to school,” she said.

Nguyen Ha An, who works in an office in Hoan Kiem District in Hanoi, said she has asked her boss to allow her to continue working from home after social distancing ends in Hanoi.

An said, “Although I have been fully vaccinated, I still worry about the risk of being infected with COVID-19 at my workplace.

“I have a 3-year-old daughter. If I infect her with the virus it could be a very dangerous situation,” she said.

She added that this is the main reason she wants to continue working from home.

Thanh Tuan, a graphic designer working in Ho Chi Minh City, said he felt very inconvenienced by the realities of returning to his office after nearly five months of working from home.

“It takes me 30 minutes to drive from my house to the office and another 30 minutes to get home at night,” he said.

In heavy traffic it takes him even longer, he added.

He said he could use the extra hour a day to exercise if he continued to work from home.

“I realized that working from home gives me more time to connect with my family members,” he said.

Tuan also added that when he worked from home during social distancing, he could take advantage of the lunch break to cook something.

After being back at the office for a week, Tuan asked his boss to allow him to continue working from home, as it does not affect his or others’ work. His boss agreed.

According to a recent global survey called “The Future of Remote Work” by PwC (one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting firms), many companies in Vietnam are convinced that after months of total lockdown and a monumental shift to work from home, remote working is not a fad.

In the firm’s “Vietnam Digital Readiness Report,” 82% of respondents believe that working from home will become more prevalent, even post COVID-19.

The survey also said that 80% of Vietnam’s Generation Z believe they can be just as effective during remote work. Generation Z, the newest members of the workforce, are expected to represent a third of the Vietnamese workforce by 2025.

Zooming out to a global scale, a survey done by the firm reveals 19% of surveyed employees are ready to work completely remotely. Another 37% would like to work from home at least two days per week.