Almost three months into MCO, lives of Malaysians have changed drastically; daily activities that were taken for granted such as going to work, meeting friends and family or having meals in restaurants, were all restricted during this period.
While most Malaysians are looking forward to the uplift of the MCO, there are some important lessons learned throughout the 3-month period.
ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD
During MCO, many businesses realized that having a business continuity plan in place is crucial in adapting to evolving situation and business environment as efficiently as possible, to prevent disruption and recovery can be made quickly in the next phase. In fact, many businesses have begun moving towards technological advancement and solutions such as cloud storage which provides accessibility to business information and data at all times.
Embrace Technology and Digitalisation
The MCO has successfully diverted more businesses towards digitalization, which may have been neglected by businesses. In less than 3 months, businesses embraced new ways of working, especially effective ways to work remotely even if the person was not tech savvy to begin with. It is also proven that various business processes can actually be done online or via a designated system, which consequently improves data accuracy and process efficiency.
Financial Management is Crucial
Many Malaysians and businesses may have been affected financially during the MCO, but it has become an important lesson in being more prudent in spending. The entire nation has learned to handle financial and cashflow management effectively as these are the most important elements to get through challenging times like this.
Work from Home (WFH) is a Feasible Option
Feasibility of WFH option has been widely discussed among businesses since the start of MCO. It was found that WFH is in fact one of the most efficient and productive ways to work if the job does not require the individual to be present in the office. Without having to meet in person, team discussions and project planning are now a click away. Moreover, team leader and members can now plan their tasks ahead and share their live progress via an online planner.
Appreciate Local Businesses
Local businesses constantly went above and beyond to help the communities and meet the nation’s needs during MCO. There were and still are several initiatives across our nation that highlighted the importance of giving back to your community when people are in need. Local restaurants that provided food to our front line workers, farmers that donated their produce to those in need. In our industry, local shipping and logistic companies braced through multiple challenges to continue providing reliable domestic shipping services during the challenging period, ensuring essential goods were delivered in time to East Malaysia population.
Prioritise Your Health
Medical cases such as the common flu have dived significantly over the MCO as everyone started to prioritise their health and protect themselves more than before. This includes practising personal hygiene, from washing hands frequently to wearing masks, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating right.
Stay United to Keep the Nation Strong
Malaysians stood united and worked together to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by giving full co-operation, abiding to the government SOPs even though every individual may have their own challenges.
Local businesses have come together to provide support to our nation, especially the front liners during this challenging period. Each of these initiatives, whether huge or small, have helped the nation to fight against this battle.
Shipping companies donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local hospitals throughout Malaysia
Various businesses donated to the Malaysian government fund, Tabung COVID-19 allocated for the purchase of PPEs and test kits
Fashion designers worked day and night to craft and sew PPE gowns for our medical front liners when there was a PPE shortage in the country
Businesses and colleges worked together to prepare face shields for our front liners including police officers
Eateries delivered freshly prepared meal to local hospitals as a sign of support to our medical front liners who worked tirelessly fighting against COVID-19 battle
Petrol stations helped small businesses by allowing them to have their pre-packed food sold in the stations during MCO period
Tech companies donated laptops in support of Teach for Malaysia, allowing home learning possible
This lesson should always be remembered by all Malaysians: with unity, we can always make a positive impact to our nation.
MCO is indeed the best time to reflect and determine what is important in life. These lessons learned during MCO shall keep everyone prepared and ready to do things differently, our new norm.