Office

After 2 Months Of Full-On WFH, We Ask 8 M’sian Millennials If It Lives Up To The Hype

Author’s Blurb: I’ve WFH before on certain days, but I was still excited for the prospect of a longer WFH period at the start of the MCO. Until I got so stressed by the change in my daily routine that I was having migraines almost every day of the first WFH week.

With my own experience in mind, I wanted to know what other millennials thought of WFH after doing it for over 2 months now.

Out of the 8 millennials I interviewed, 7 of them have had prior WFH experience, whether it was once in a while or for several years before (while self-employed).

For those of us who’ve only WFH once in a while, I would say that we never really had a chance to truly experience the pros and cons of it.

This MCO definitely challenged a few expectations, but first, the positives.

Ways It Lived Up To The Hype

When it comes to WFH, one of the biggest advantages has to be the time you save in a day.

Plus, no more waking up early to beat those annoying traffic jams, so you get to start your work day in a better mood.

Caryn, who’s 29 and working as a teacher, enjoys that she can now wake up later and be more alert when working. “It used to take me about 30 minutes to get to work and an hour to get back home every day. That’s a lot of wasted time that also tires me out unnecessarily.”

With her extra time, she’s been able to cook healthier meals for herself and come up with innovative ways to engage her students.

25-year-old Jia Yi works in an advertising agency, and with her extra time, she’s been able to help clean her house and provide her dog with extra care.

Since everyone’s at home all day thanks to the MCO, Aina, 26, mentioned that this has allowed her to spend more quality time with her family.

She works as a paralegal in a law firm, so on normal days she used to come home late at night and would be too exhausted to mingle with family.

Getting to shape your own workspace and working style at home is also a bonus as you can personalise your working experience better than in the office.

While he’s since adapted to a common area of his home as a workspace, Arif, 27 and working for a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, has plans to revamp his entire bedroom to include a proper workspace.

Working at a PR company where she usually has to dress up a little, Anna, 26, shared that her productivity has greatly increased because she now gets to wear her comfy clothes and listen to her work playlist (Lo-Fi, if anyone’s wondering) openly without earphones, since she won’t be disturbing any colleagues.

Furthermore, she’s more efficient while WFH because she tends to work in short bursts of productivity, which the usual 8-hour start to end work day doesn’t accommodate too well.

Jia Yi felt the same way, saying, “I’m able to just take a short break on the couch or play with my dog when I’m getting tired or stressed. When I’m in the office I feel inclined to always look busy and always be doing work no matter what.”

Of course, another advantage of WFH is the fact that you save money on transport and food costs.

“You could say that I’m currently only spending 25% of what I would normally spend on a monthly basis,” Arif shared, and the joy of being able to save was echoed amongst the other millennials.

Ways It Didn’t Live Up To The Hype

Many of us now realise just how much we take our speedy office Wi-Fi for granted.

Connectivity issues have been the bane of remote working, as Aina shared, “My work flow and speed were disturbed because of the internet connection. It was really stressing me out because we might have urgent work to do but the internet bailed out on me.”

Justin, 25, who’s a video editor for our sister brand, Clocking In, also faced issues with data transfer, but another issue he highlighted was regarding the lack, or difficulties, of social interaction.

Our 34-year-old CTO, Bing Han misses being able to have in-person catchups with colleagues (us) over lunch, and this was made even worse by the MCO’s restrictions.

For the duration of the MCO, he also realised that WFH wasn’t as easy to handle as his kids are now always at home due to schools being closed.

Would They Want To WFH Permanently?

In short, the resounding answer was “no”. While WFH lived up to certain hypes, it also presented disadvantages, which was to be expected anyway.

Sure, there are ways that we can work around those disadvantages, but all the millennials agreed that they would prefer a mixture of in-office and WFH days instead of permanent WFH. It would be just the right balance.

Despite enjoying being able to save more time and money on commuting, 25-year-old Alanna who works at a digital marketing agency, realised something: “I enjoy these everyday inconveniences and would prefer not working from home as they provide me with a way to de-focus, which is very important especially when I’m encountering a mental block.”

Justin also concluded that being able to “detach” oneself was important. “I think WFH can be implemented for long periods when needed by the company as whole, but probably not long-term (like months of it) because there’s a place for work and a place for personal time.”

“When those places are both at home, it can affect overall work-life balance.”

Bottom Line: Initially, this long-term WFH period was something new, something that I’d never done before, hence my excitement. However, now I can confidently say that I’m over this whole WFH thing. Take me back to the office! (With safety precautions all in place, of course.)

  • You can read more on what we’ve written about WFH here.

Featured Image Credit: Caryn

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