By Elyana Sofia Faisal
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen a shift in the working landscape as many organisations enforced working from home to its workers. With the presence of the virus, everyone must adapt to the “new normal” of doing things in a way that would keep them safe while continuing their daily lives.
As the Malaysian government announced that Malaysia will be under the movement control order (MCO), working from home was implemented as a preventive measure to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and to break the chain of infections. This measure requires most organisations to adapt to working from home and thus prohibiting physical contact between employees.
The increase in the demand for virtual platforms has introduced us with various digital applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Team and Google Meet. Unfortunately, the traditional face-to-face working environment has to be halted and the well-acclaimed virtual platforms have to take place.
Even before the pandemic, the presence of digital platforms have been greatly valued and numerous studies have been done to prove its convenience, efficiency and effectiveness. Undoubtedly, many faced struggles to adapt to the “new normal” during the COVID-19 period especially the need to adjust themselves through the fast-paced of the working environment.
They must be able to quickly move from one task to another without much time in-between or juggling multiple duties at the same time while staying productive at home. Not to mention, other limitations of virtual platforms including technical difficulties and issues such as security, network and bandwidth glitches.
Despite the numerous challenges of remote working, employees have adapted to the new working environment after almost a year adjusting themselves.
While working from home has attracted employees’ interest in the company, it has been suggested that remote working should be continued. In a recent FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents reported that they wanted to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic, and 31% wanted a hybrid remote work environment.
Moreover, a similar report said that 27% of workers admitted that they were willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut to work remotely as they enjoyed the liberty of working from home. According to the Workforce Happiness Index, 75 out of 100 are more likely to report being satisfied with their jobs than office-based workers.
In an interview session, Dr. Syaza Farhana, an assistant professor at International Islamic University Malaysia shared that she enjoyed the privilege of not going through heavy traffic in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur and could spend more time with her family.
The mother of three small children added that she was able to deliver her role as a lecturer while also making sure that her daughters attend their online kindergarten classes.
Just recently, a Malaysian Twitter user shared his thoughts on working from home. The tweet which received thousands shares and likes said that remote work should be continued as it allows employees to have a work-life balance.
After almost a year adapting to the new working environment, it is hoped that remote working could be continued in the post-pandemic era as there are many benefits gained from the implementation.***
(This article is written as part of individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)