A track which is currently circulating through the airwaves by the band Twenty One Pilots clearly echoes most of our sentiments. “Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days, when our mama sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out,” sang lead singer Tyler Joseph. To a certain extent, he may be right as plenty of Malaysians are working themselves sick, and maybe even to death.
It certainly is not a pretty sight and not many would agree to placing the words ‘work’ and ‘stress’ in the same sentence, though it may be true. Even so, working solely to replenish money into our bank account should not be the only focus and purpose for getting a 9-5. It should also be about passion as well, and as the adage goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
Now imagine finding a job that you are so passionate about that waking up daily to the sound of your alarm clock is akin to a melody played by an orchestra. Many employers would after all prefer a happy, chirpy employee and colleague to work with, and if one could actually enjoy what they are doing and work on their own personal development at the same time, it would certainly be a win-win situation for both ends.
Behind The Hands Of Style
This is exactly what the team behind Malaysian startup, WeStyleAsia has been implementing for the past 90 days with their United We Transform 90 Days Programme. WeStyleAsia is a local platform where Malaysians can search and book their preferred stylist, beauty and wellness professionals at anytime and anywhere via a web platform.
Having started last year, it is now pioneered by both Arthur Tan and Andrei Chew. Co-founder Arthur told Vulcan Post, “When we first started WeStyleAsia, we knew that the motivation behind it is to build great leaders within the community. Both of us are very into personal development and building our leadership skills will really make us perform much better in the workplace.”
Hence, the principle behind the programme is to set aside a period of time—in this case, 90 days—in order to create a great habit and discipline within the workplace in order for the team to unleash the greatness in them within 5 elements of life, which is the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspect.
“We believe that after this 90 days, we can see a transformation within themselves, be it their personality, character or even their mindset,” Arthur spoke of the programme which has so far benefited the team behind WeStyleAsia consisting of Leona, who manages the business development aspect of the startup; Kieran, who focuses on the user experience; Kevin, the software engineering intern; and Xia Yi, who is the editor of WeStyleAsia.
Developing Oneself Inside And Out
What the team has been doing for the past 90 days is dedicating specific days where they build on themselves as a team whilst also growing personally. For instance, every Wednesday and Friday, the team sacrifices their extra hours in bed to workout at 7.30 in the morning together. They would also cultivate good reading habits by having a book sharing session.
Team member Kevin shared that through the exercise, he has been able to work on character building. “What attracts me to the programme is the book sharing session where you get to know other people’s perspective on what the book is teaching you. It’s like a compact training,” he shared.
Apart from working out together and conducting book sharing sessions, Arthur notes that there has to be work-life balance in every startup. “Every last Friday of the month we have United We Play, where half of the last Friday of the month, we just play. So far, we have had the experience of Breakout, and upcoming ones are rock climbing, hiking and fencing,” he said.
The whole purpose of the programme is to get to know the team members better and the way Arthur puts it is that you get to know a person best outside of the office grounds, and with the experience, they get to not only get closer as a team, but work better as one too.
When Student Becomes Teacher
Indeed, with the programme, the team gets the experience to not only follow but to lead as well, and this can in turn train their leadership skills. Team member Xia Yi had her hand at this by leading her own sharing in social media, which she notes gives one a burst of self confidence and to truly believe in themselves. “It’s interesting,” she shared of her experience. “Sometimes you just want to share with your friends a certain fact that you found out, so I think this is a good place to share your knowledge about certain things.”
Kieran agreed, saying that this was not something that he was against from the get-go, but was intrigued that it would be implemented in the workplace because traditionally, work is a place to well, work. However, what the programme has taught the WeStyleAsia team is that convention should be thrown out the window. What is more important is the fact that they are growing together as a unit, and not just on the work aspect of it.
Hence, they are not stopping there, and 90 days is really just a number, as they will continue on with the good habits which they have successfully cultivated over the period of time. Andrei shared, “It’s about creating a habit and even after the 90 days, it becomes a part of their lifestyle.”
The bottom line is that team cohesiveness is there, Arthur notes, and it really translated into how well they work together now as a unit. It certainly is an interesting idea to implement in the workplace and the team hopes to see it integrated in other startups as well. Xia Yi said, “It’s a great way to build a better relationship with your colleague and to become more than friends, and more like a family.”