MIGHT’s Corporate Affairs and Strategy Division Senior Vice President, Abd. Halim Bisri is a core member of MIGHT’s strategic practices. With more than 30 years of experience in corporate strategy, research, technology transfer, engineering and financial services, Abd Halim is an expert in the design and execution of strategic plans. Prior to MIGHT, Abd. Halim was Malaysian Technology Development Corporation’s (MTDC) head of research & Information following an 8 year stint as a senior engineer at Motorola before joining MIGHT’s ranks. In his role, Abd. Halim, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Miami, Florida, helps MIGHT and its partners explore tech-driven transformational growth opportunities.
WORKING FROM ANYWHERE
MIGHT prepares work from home as a hint of the future
Balancing the nature of MIGHT’s business-as-usual, concerns, and getting work done
For us at MIGHT, COVID19 will not dampen what we do. If anything, it figures to be more dynamic than ever. In response to the current situation, we highly encourage our staff to embrace remote working. This is really no accident. We have long mooted this idea of working from anywhere—mobile and fluid not confined to being engaged at work only at the office. I guess, tapping into our people anywhere has become more important than having all our team members in one place. In fact, we have a policy where we make sure all of our staff are equipped with portable devices to support the transition. Our staff are allowed to purchase the devices on their own and a certain portion of the cost is supported by the company. In return, we expect our staff to be mobile in interacting with our stakeholders, especially industry players and MIGHT members as this can be done via various means today.
In dealing with the pandemic, we are making sure that our plans remain on track despite the constraints we are currently facing. Thankfully, the framework has already been embedded on the back of our minds years before the pandemic arrived. As long as our staff are connected, they can perform their duties just as ably, either through remote or in-person work. Nowadays, they can get in touch with our main office from wherever they are via mobile facilities to conduct meetings or discussions. We believe that the ability to work remotely, while causing its fair share of disruption, will enable many to live and work in new ways and places.
We now know that the future of work is flexibility. Therefore, going forward, remote work has to be viewed as equally important as in-person work. Surely a lot of our old habits need rethinking and we need to change our default setting to settle into this new era or future of work. After all, we are not just working from home. We are working from home during a pandemic.
The future is actually about managing
people with all the tech tools that we
have at our disposal.
To an extent, technologies such as video conferencing have done us a great deal in helping us to arrest the spread of COVID19. Remote meetings may feel awkward for now, but these are the challenges that we have to grapple with.
What’s more, the future is actually about managing people with all the tech tools that we have at our disposal. When it comes to meetings and seminars, although we are not physically present in one place, technologies such as WebEx, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow us to convene all these functions adequately. These tech solutions may offer us more in terms of remote working in the future. All we have to do is identify which one is the most suitable for our needs. Objectively, despite being socially distanced, we can still Implement a lot of things and this will be the basis the future’s holistic working environment will be built around.
However, with all these remote meeting tools, everyone’s a bit concerned about security. Right now, as far as security goes, I can say that we have it covered. With respect to our confidential information, we have a policy that governs the practice of our people. For example, information with respect to the company’s confidentiality is to be treated with the highest level of integrity by our people. In terms of security, we always advise our people to be mindful of the
equipment they use, keep and carry with them. And we follow closely the guidelines provided by the government in order to monitor security compliance with respect to information.
Role of technology in accelerating the transition and preparing a holistic working environment
In short, we will intensify a lot of the things that we see a need for during COVID19. For starters, we will promote wide scale communication of virtual meetings with our stakeholders, especially our MIGHT members, agency partners, government departments as well as board members. Thankfully, meetings and brainstorming sessions can now be done remotely.
At the same time, we are also preparing our office with the right facilities such as audio and video equipment so that we can communicate seamlessly and comfortably with people outside of MIGHT. Recently, we received a visit by the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, where he chaired a meeting that convened international participants from China, Singapore, Europe and others online. It was a fruitful meeting, lots of good ideas were exchanged without much fuss and most importantly, the agendas of the meeting were met. I would like to note here that this mode of working has alleviated concerns from our colleagues abroad. Evidently, there’s really nothing to worry about and we can all buy into this idea of agile working. But there’s still so much more to develop, whether in terms of remote work, or technology that actually makes hybrid in person and remote meetings feel less awkward.
Onto performance evaluation, we admit, remote working is still quite new to us. We managed to implement work from anywhere only recently this year. Nevertheless, we are currently putting together an evaluation system to assess our people’s remote working performance so that we can thoroughly gauge the organisation’s effectiveness as a whole.
Addressing the concerns related to communication, data security and regulations as a high-technology
So far, we have received plenty of feedback from our departmental heads. It is not surprising that most of them feel that working from home has improved their productivity and efficiency. No longer do they need to spend hours commuting to and from work or scramble from one location to another to attend meetings. All it takes now is a few clicks and they can effortlessly jump from one meeting to another.
However, a proper evaluation system needs to be in place so that we can monitor our people’s productivity and performance. Working from home has become a marriage of convenience, however, the integrity of work that gets done should be just as good as in-person work, if not better. This is what we need to closely monitor, as does with any new trend. Due to the pandemic, we understand that our staff have to use their own devices and connectivity, and to aid our collective cause, MIGHT has since provided additional allowances for this.
And then there’s compliance to the SOPs. COVID19 is not going away any time soon, so, at all times, we need to make sure our people comply with the SOPs outlined by Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN), Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH). If the SOPs aren’t in place, our fight against the virus will fail, and we’ll end up right back where we were before. In view of this, we have set up a dedicated team to monitor the movement of our staff as well as to control the crowd present at our main office to stop the spread of COVID19.
We regularly remind our people to wear face masks when they are at our office compound along with adhering to other social distancing measures. In addition, we encourage external parties to carry out meetings with us online. But this is also a huge shift and apart from this, we have implemented an e-tracking system for those who want to come to the office and they will be evaluated from the locations and zones they come from. This is done to make sure MIGHT’s premise is well protected.
Going forward, with all these new ways of working, our goal is to strengthen our dedication to MIGHT’s shared cause. Ultimately, we would like to showcase an exemplary model of remote working to our stakeholders and the general public. Being under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology, & Innovation (MOSTI), I think, MIGHT’s readiness bodes well with the ministry’s intent to see all of us becoming mobile and agile. Despite the pandemic, we firmly believe that remote working can be just as fulfilling as it doesn’t diminish our people’s dynamics.
We are also well aware that this practice will most likely continue into the future. At MIGHT, we welcome this new norm with open arms, and we believe there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Last but not least, as an entity that champions the creation of a high-tech nation, we can assure you that remote working, for us, is a language of choice, not just a faint idea or an afterthought. Hopefully, all these new ways of thinking about the centrality of work in our lives will contribute to Malaysia’s push in becoming a high-tech, high productivity nation.
We would like to showcase an exemplary model of remote working to our stakeholders and the general public. Being under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology, & Innovation (MOSTI), I think, MIGHT’s readiness bodes well with the ministry’s intent to see all of us becoming mobile and agile