A “Guiding Hand” Would’ve Made WFH Less Frightening For A Family-Owned Business During The MCO
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“We were optimistic at first, but as weeks went by we had to face the harsh reality which is the new normal… it was scary,” said 29-year-old executive director Putri Sylfarezza, reliving her experience of managing a family-owned business during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like countless other businesses in Malaysia, Talasco Dagang Sdn Bhd (TDSB) was forced to limit its operations as the country hunkered down and endured the MCO period.
For over a year, a national workforce that involved millions of people interconnected across multiple industries were compelled to adapt to a new normal of little to no physical contact and continued days of remotely working from home (WFH).
Putri, who directly oversees a staff of 10 at TDSB, shared how difficult it was to instantly transition from business-as-usual to operating a digital workspace away from the office.
“The pandemic hit us hard. Everything we do is hands-on, it’s the nature of our business,” she told TRP, revealing how the logistics and manufacturing company fared during the course of a global economic crisis.
Though thankful that the family enterprise managed to weather the worst of the storm, Putri shared that the entire experience of working outside the office gave her team little peace of mind.
“There were staff who took their office computer home. We relied heavily on phone calls and it can get frustrating when a person is out of reach,” she said, recalling her annoyance at how the tools her team had at their disposal wasn’t up to par with the requirements needed to run a business outside the typical workplace.
The young employer also acknowledged how difficult it was for some members of her staff to familiarize themselves with the myriad of digital work tools and applications that came to dominate everyday life during the pandemic.
“I wouldn’t say our staff are old-school even though about 80% of them are over the age of 40. It’s even hard for me to work remotely, without training. Having a guiding hand would have been great,” said the company director, feeling that navigating the new normal would’ve been easier if there was some help behind the rudder.
Even after going through two separate MCO periods, Putri confessed that, in most ways, the company was unprepared if they were forced to continue working remotely.
“We do have on-site servers and systems but to work remotely on the cloud? We are just not there yet security-wise,” she explains saying that the company has a long way to go in adopting a digitally capable working environment.
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