Challenges in flexi work

PETALING JAYA: Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) provide better work-life balance, but comes with its own set of challenges, say some employees.

They said the success of such an arrangement would depend greatly on a person’s job scope and “adaptability”.

Account manager Wong Pui Koon said flexible hours gave her more leeway to get things done.

“Time flexibility allows us to arrange our schedules according to our needs, but it also comes with long working hours,” she said.

The 29-year-old, who lives here, said work flexibility is only possible for certain jobs.

“If your position is in administration, then you may be required to work in the office,” she said.

Sales engineer Farzihan Nur Syaiqa said flexible hours could be implemented based on the situation.

“If I have to go to the site to meet people, then it is understandable that I follow the required time set to avoid delaying work,” said the 30-year-old from Klang.

On days when there are only brief meetings, employers could choose to conduct them remotely, she suggested.

“Sometimes, the commute to the office takes much longer than the meetings!” she said.

Human resources officer Loganaayagi Letchumnan said she preferred working from home for the job satisfaction it provided and the lower risk of getting sick, especially from Covid-19.

“It enables me to have more time for myself as I spend less time on the road. I can also save on transportation cost,” she added.

However, she said there were challenges to FWA, such as difficulty in maintaining communication and meeting the needs of employers.

“It can be difficult to deal with colleagues who are working at different times and you will have to be highly organised and prepared.

“Some managers also prefer to monitor the work of their subordinates physically,” she said.

Admin and human resources executive Evangelin Beth Fernando, 28, said work from home arrangements should be allowed for individuals who are capable of staying focused and managing their time at home “without getting distracted”.

“Those working from home can save costs on commuting, such as on fuel and eating out,” she said, adding that employees could also enjoy a more hassle-free work day.

The Johorean said that to allow for a smoother work flow should the FWA be enforced, a system to track work completion should be put in place.

“This is to ensure that the work flow moves smoothly and employees get their flexibility,” she said.

Sales executive Lee Xiao Jin, 28, however, felt that FWA could hamper communication.

“It may cause a delay in reaching out to your workmates, especially those in the corporate field.

“Sometimes, we need to contact other departments to get information, but the people might reply only after a few hours,” said the Kuala Lumpur resident.

To resolve communication issues, she suggested enforcing guidelines to ensure enquiries were met within a shorter timeframe.

Last week, Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim said employees could apply for FWA under the amendment to the Employment Act 1955, that comes into force on Sept 1.

He said applications must be in writing and could cover changes in working hours, working days and the place of work.

The employer must respond in writing within 60 days.

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