Self Expression Magazine

I Went Back to Office After 40 Days of MCO

Posted on the 29 April 2020 by Kimeetay @Kimee_Tay

If you are living in Malaysia, you would know that we are moving into Phase 4 of the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced by our government.
I have been working from home since Day 3 of MCO (20/03/2020). Earlier this week, we were told that we had to be present in the office twice a week, and just yesterday management blasted an email to inform us that all office-based staff will be required to work a minimum of 3 days in office and 2 days from home.
And that’s how I ended up in office today.

MCO Mornings: I have been sleeping more as I do not need to travel to office. I can wake up at 08:00 and have time for a decent breakfast, a quick shower before facing the PC by 08:30-09:00. On some days if I get up earlier, I even have time to whip up pancakes for breakfast. Bliss.
Usual Work Mornings: I do not have the most enjoyable job, so on some days it can get really difficult to wake up. Ideally I should be up by 07:00 to have ample time to have a quick breakfast and get ready for work and leave by 07:45 to arrive before 08:30. Most days I only leave home around 08:00 and tend to rush to work, just to try and be on time.
This Morning: It felt like first day of school / work again. Haha. The night before I told myself that I’d have to wake up much earlier as I might have forgotten how to get ready for work. I left slightly past 08:00, and since it was still MCO period, I kinda took my own sweet time to drive to work – not really bothered if I was late or not (like I would usually do and rush to work). The roads were pretty clear too, which was great. Oh, and I really miss listening to BFM every morning on my drive to work.
I guess I was also driving at a more slow and steady pace cause my legs felt a little wonky after not driving for 40 days. Haha. I even called WC and ask “is something wrong with the car?”, also cause it was due for servicing right when the MCO started.
Urgh, but parking was terrible – worst than usual. I was expecting to have ample parking spots since some colleagues aren’t in office. But all the motorcyclist’s has since been parking at the main gate area, I guess to control the ins and outs of people into the factory.
So we gotta get our body temperature checked at the guard house, I also kinda forgot my employee ID number. Haha. And Abang Guard spritz some diluted Dettol solution at my shoes. I don’t know why. Face mask was provided, but not 100% of employees were wearing masks. Malaysia Boleh.

MCO Work Hours: I try my very best to keep to my official working hours, which is 08:30-18:00. A to-do list helps a lot to keep track of work. I don’t have a direct plug so it’s a bit of a hassle when the laptop runs low on battery. We only have the cheap IKEA chair at home so it isn’t that ergonomic for long hours of work. I work at the dining table so during most lunches, I have to clear my work stuffs quickly off the table so we would have a space to eat.
Usual Work Hours & Today: The things I miss most about my office are my large L shaped table, my second monitor, my keyboard, the office printer and scanner, the hardcopy reference documents, unlimited toilet paper, my office chair, and my colleagues of course. Since we are required in the office, the company has to provide us with lunch – which is great (RM 8 savings per day) – but I think my lunches at home is cheaper than my petrol to work. Also, wearing a face mask for a long period of time is really stuffy and hot.

MCO after 18:00: On less busy days, I shut down at 18:00 and start prepping dinner and/or do a little 12 minutes work out. Since I’m not as tired while working from home, I guess cause I don’t have to spend 1-2 hours a day on the road, I usually have time at night to watch Netflix or play games or experiment in the kitchen. On busier days, I would also take a break at 18:00 for dinner / exercise / shower and continue working after 20:00. Which is great arrangement to me – not so taxing.
Usual after 18:00: On busy days, I may OT about an hour, and on busier days, it could go up to 2-4 hours per day. Sometimes it isn’t about high workload, but during work hours there tend to be a lot of distractions and tending to phone calls and queries from customers and colleagues. These things are extremely time consuming and you end up not actually having time to do actual work. And I really hate it that dinner time gets screwed up so much. If I do work really late sometimes, I’ll just shower and sleep once I get home.
On usual less busy days if I leave office sharp 18:00 (rare), I’ll reach home around 19:00, maybe spend around 30-45 minutes to prep and have dinner. By the time I rest and shower it’ll be after 21:00 – which equates to about an episode of Netflix + some scrolling on Instagram before bed. Haha.
Today after 18:00: I left slightly past 18:00 is was a pretty smooth journey until I hit a road block that lasted for 30 minutes. What could have been a 25 minute journey ended up taking around and hour. But the overall traffic was clear – I wish it would always be like this even after MCO is lifted. Manage to slot in a 12 minutes work out before indulging in WC’s fried rice for dinner. And even found time to write this!

For me, there are both pros and cons for working on site and working from home. I think it would be great if we are trusted and given the choice of choosing how and where we work. I am all for “as long as you get your work done“.
I am really fortunate to have a flexible boss who allowed “going to office only when necessary” (it was nice while it lasted) and very helpful colleagues that were present at office on and off during the MCO period that made me working from home for 40 days straight possible.
Thanks guys 😊

Disclaimer: My company has obtained MITI approval since Phase 1 MCO.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog