Dear Employers in M’sia, Should You Really Be Moving Employees Back to the Office?

Blog
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November 10, 2021
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By
Nicholas K

The past two years have been challenging, to say the least. Employers and employees throughout Malaysia — and in fact, around the world — have had to deal with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all that goes along with it. 

That includes the abrupt introduction of mandatory work-from-home arrangements, with the first lockdown (MCO 1.0) in Malaysia being implemented back in 2020. Crucial, this transition has highlighted the need for digitalisation — as well as the absolute need for the right tools to survive. We’ve covered this to great extent on our Resources page, so once you’re done with this article, head over for our guides to the end-to-end of HR in Malaysia.  

Meanwhile, Malaysia is now moving towards the endemic stage of COVID-19, with most states already classified under Stage 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). From a work perspective, this means that 100% of employees in public and private sectors are now allowed to operate from the physical workplace, while other activities such as dining-in and sporting activities are also permitted — with the right SOPs in place. 

Source: NRP


But before you bring all of your employees back to the workplace, here are a couple of things to consider first. 

1. Should you even be coming back to the office?

In general, the work-from-home experience is one that can vary greatly from person to person, and from organisation to organisation. Digitalisation played, and continues to play a huge role in the success of remote work models. This shouldn’t be forgotten as we move back towards physical work arrangements.

Plus, there have also been an abundance of benefits when it comes to working from home, including: 

  • Better focus on worthwhile tasks at work
  • More accountability for time and scheduling 
  • Less menial tasks to complete 
  • Less stress from commuting 

On the flip side, have also been significant drawbacks to the WFH model, such as: 

  • Distractions in the home environment 
  • Lack of equipment
  • An affected work-life balance 

Once you’ve weighed these in, you should be able to come to the right decision for your company. You should also have an open dialogue with your employees and team members, as the move back to a physical work model might prove to be challenging for some, such as workers with young families or elderly dependents at home.

2. What about a hybrid work model? 

Regardless of which work model you opt for, a digital-first approach is essential to surviving in the new normal, and to future-proof against any potential challenges in the future. As an alternative to fully returning to the physical office, an alternative is to implement a gradual return — or even a shift-based approach to minimise risks in light of the pandemic. 

However, the hybrid work model may not work for every organisation or industry out there, so you’ll need to consider: 

  • Office location 
  • Nature of work/Industry 
  • Which roles are critical to the business 
  • How the pandemic has affected employee productivity 
  • Employee sentiment

Regardless of the work model that you choose for your organisation, it’s crucial that you have the right digital tools to succeed. Even if you opt for a full return to the office, these tools and processes will also help to future-proof your business against any potential challenges in the future.  

No matter what: You need the right tools to succeed

To succeed at anything, you need the right tool for the right job. This applies to the task of successfully transitioning from, or between work models, where the importance of choosing the right digital tools cannot be overstated. 

As such, the return to the office offers a unique opportunity for employers, HR professionals, and organisations as a whole to replace legacy processes and beliefs that aren’t as applicable in the modern workplace. As such, here are a couple of tools & processes that will help your team transition back to the office — or into a hybrid work model: 

  • Daily check-ins with altHR
  • Project Management tools 
  • Cloud-based storage 
  • Cloud-based VoIP phone lines: Omni Hotline 
  • HR & communication: altHR

At the end of the day, you’ll need a solution that enables your employees to stay connected, engaged, and collaborate. Plus, as HR professionals, a good piece of advice is to use this transitionary period as a way to initiate a digital transformation of your organisation’s HR processes — along with the digitalisation of the entire business. 

If you’re keen to find out how these tools were used to help the altHR team through the pandemic, click here for a more detailed breakdown.

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What’s next?

Enter: Digi’s HR super app, altHR. It’s pivotal to ensure that the transition — from the office, to the office, or to a hybrid model — is made as seamless as possible. From an Onboarding module to welcome new hires virtually, to daily check-ins, a Documents module, and even a Rostering module to help with Team A/B setups, altHR continues to be an essential part of succeeding in the new normal. 

Keeping track of everything can be challenging, particularly for employers and HR professionals in the SME sector — but it doesn’t have to be. The world is going increasingly digital these days, and this trend is set to continue in the years to come. HR professionals are often faced with daunting, often tedious tasks on a daily basis — tasks that have become even more difficult to handle in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

But help is available, if you know where to look. Let us streamline your HR processes by managing and automating day-to-day tasks, so you won’t have to worry about things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges. Instead, focus on the crucial pillars of your business, and the happiness of your employees. 

Sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from payroll and onboarding, to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done it the old way long enough.

Sign up for altHR

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Your submission has been received! One of our Customer Success Officer will be in touch with you shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Download our FREE Employee Appraisals Guide

Awesome, here's your download!

If you are interested to learn more about altHR, find out more here.

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