Looks like workers need to get used to working from home as the Malaysian government further confirmed today that they are extending the current two weeks movement restriction will until the mid-April next month.
I am quite lucky as I do have some experience working from home as this is what I’ve been doing work for the past year since I’ve founded my law firm, Izwan & Partners. As a startup lawyer, I deal a lot with younger people and entrepreneurs so most of the times they don’t really care that I don’t have an office. I just get a bit of a curious look when you are at social events when you explain that you don’t really have a physical office address (it’s a generational thing as well I guess).
I must admit that I did have some reluctance when I first started telling people I don’t have an office. I guess it is unconventional or unusual as there’s a certain conventional wisdom that having an office means you are serious or perhaps even have a “proper business” (then not having an office). Funnily enough, the Malaysian Bar, the self-regulating body for Malaysian lawyers does not actually require a physical business premise for anyone to run a law firm.
Ok, I do admit that there are some businesses that can’t run away from having an office like eating in a restaurant. But again, we also now have cloud kitchen services like Dahmakan and GrabKitchen with the goal to offer quality food or even better at more affordable rates as they don’t have to pay for overheads like rentals.
Large companies like banks seem to have a major concern in letting their employees work from home. Chris Skinner shared his thoughts in his blog that banks like BNY Mellon in the UK have banned remote working few months ago as they found office space more “productive”. There are some merits in the discussions. Stuff like confidentiality and data security are some of the reasons cited that makes working from home a no-no for many large companies.
I am confident that there’s a certain blessing in disguise in this whole Covid-19 pandemic. Employers would now realise that many meetings are pointless which they could have resolved with an email.
As CEOs or business owners, they have to take decisive steps to come up with some process in place on how remote working arrangements should take place like what how work gets done and how should the discussion take place and so on.