Kuala Lumpur Voted as Top 10 Best Cities in APAC for Remote Work 2024

Table of Contents

It is of no secret that Kuala Lumpur is an attractive city for many an employer and employees.

A melting pot of sorts, Kuala Lumpur is located in the heart of Southeast Asia and lies midway along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and represents the cultural, commercial and transportation centre of Malaysia. As a metropolitan centre and the largest city in Malaysia with a population of over 1.3 million, Kuala Lumpur is comprised of a multicultural population that includes Malays, Chinese, and Indians. Kuala Lumpur - or KL as it is known - is a city with a heady mix of history and culture intertwined with mushrooming skyscrapers and office towers.1

Understanding Kuala Lumpur’s business and work culture can be a big help to your company if you are looking to expand your business in the city. With unique cultural and religious etiquette, Kuala Lumpur has a diverse, English-speaking population - and often, it is a good idea to adjust your business etiquette to adapt to specific ethnic groups that you are interacting with. Engaging with different business associates may require flexibility to ensure effective communication, as this cultural sensitivity can significantly contribute to fostering successful business relationships. Although English is the primary business language, having a fundamental grasp of Bahasa Malaysia can enhance the speed of building a relationship in the city.2

How remote work is fast shaping Kuala Lumpur’s workforce - and why the city is the best place for remote work in 2024

Remote work today is shaping Kuala Lumpur’s working landscape, and the change in remote working in Asia arrived in just a timely fashion. More than 4 in 6 professionals in Malaysia are reported to be satisfied with their current working arrangements, with about 6 out of 8 noting a similar or increased productivity while at home. As a result, 7 in 9 professionals prefer more work from home arrangements in the future - making this an increasingly important factor in determining employee job satisfaction or when employees choose a new role.3    

The popularity of Kuala Lumpur for remote working in Asia has skyrocketed with a global survey that shows the Malaysian capital being catapulted from 84th to 22nd spot as the top global destination for remote work that ranked 100 best cities for remote work - topping remote work Singapore. 

There are several factors that led to the city’s improved rankings. These include benefits of remote work such as a robust Internet infrastructure, captivating cultural and natural attractions, as well as a relatively affordable cost of living. Kuala Lumpur is one of the few cities in the world, including Madrid, Bangkok, Bridgetown, and Madeira, that stood out for their attractive remote work visa programs and incentives. As the Malaysian economy experienced significant economic growth - driven by gains in industries such as tourism, commerce, and manufacturing -  Kuala Lumpur is now a prime destination for employers looking for quality team members.4

Skilled talents available in Kuala Lumpur

According to the Economist Impact survey in 2022 and 2023, 65% of the survey respondents cited digital skills as their top focus in Malaysia, although most of them (83.1%) are still prioritising basic digital skills. However, advanced digital skills such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as cloud computing and cybersecurity are gaining traction and importance.   

As remote work often translates to remote global teams, more and more employees in Malaysia consider soft skills as an important skillset (54%) - outpolling employees in countries such as Singapore (51%) and Hong Kong (47%). There is a special emphasis on interpersonal and intercultural communication by Malaysian employees (81.5%).

As the need for tech talent is rapidly increasing amongst employers in Malaysia, the demand is expected to grow at a rate of 7.6% over the next 3 years, as predicted by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation. Advanced digital skills - apart from AI, ML, cloud computing, and cybersecurity - such as data analysis and visualisation (49.2%) and digital marketing (47.7%) are also viewed as must-haves in the current workforce. 

As digitalisation progresses in Malaysia, the demand for cybersecurity experts and data professionals are increasing, and this has prompted the government to establish plans to train and develop 50,000 cybersecurity and data professionals by the year 2025.5

Hire in Kuala Lumpur with AYP’s Employer of Record

Looking to hire talent in Kuala Lumpur? 

At AYP, our deep HR expertise can help your business grow in APAC quickly, the hassle-free way. AYP’s Employer of Record (EOR) can take care of your employees while you focus on your core business through:

  • Local laws compliance
  • Minimising legal and financial risks
  • Seamless onboarding and payroll management
  • Reduced hiring time and costs
  • Access to a wider talent pool

Discover more about our EOR service in Kuala Lumpur here or book a call with our HR experts today!

  1. Kuala Lumpur: Representing the Heartbeat of Malaysia ↩︎
  2. Malaysia Business Culture ↩︎
  3. Remote Working Survey Malaysia ↩︎
  4. Kuala Lumpur Outranks Singapore for Remote Work ↩︎
  5. Bridging the skills gap: Fueling careers and the economy in Malaysia ↩︎
Share this post on:
Your 6-Step Global Workforce Strategy for Balancing Growth, Cost, and Talent
workforce strategy for balancing growth, cost and talent

Talk to our HR Experts

Discover AYP’s award-winning Employer of Record (EOR) solution

ayp group global