PNB: Work-from-home now permanent option

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 10): Work-from-home (WFH) is now a permanent option, not just the movement control order (MCO) arrangement, said Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Jalil Rasheed. 

In his tweets on Thursday, Jalil said as the largest state-owned fund had WFH as a permanent option, most meetings would be a hybrid of virtual and in-person.

“We defied all odds working well past two months virtually. Nothing stopped us from adopting flexibility permanently.

“We have made great strides in using technology, virtual meetings and digital signatures, so this momentum must continue even when staff return,” said Jalil, PNB's youngest president and CEO appointed last year at the age of 38.

According to him, this was part of the strategic plan that PNB unveiled last week, one focus area being organisational transformation.

“People and culture are huge part of it. So this initiative fits right in,” he said.

However, he added that as not every role can be done from home, such as drivers and security, the company is giving employees the option to choose how or where they want to work.

He said staff would be equipped with the technology hardware, and would be asked to download the MySejahtera application, to ensure they are traceable if any unfortunate incident happens.

“We will also issue guidelines or tips to people managers on how to manage remote or split teams, answer all frequently asked questions (FAQs) and have dedicated people assigned to them when they have queries,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said PNB would extend its WFH exercise until the end of May to ensure its employees could do the necessary preparations for Hari Raya Aidilfitri amid the closure of schools and childcare centres.

Jalil said as the average age of the company's staff is 39, many have school-going children.

“We’ll be fluid with it to [be in] sync when schools reopen. And being so close to Hari Raya, it’s best everybody stays home and returns after [that],” he said.

Beginning June 2020, Jalil said, the return would be deployed over three months to ensure not too many employees are in the building.

“Those who are doing well from home will continue doing so. Of course, anybody who wants to return to office are welcome to [do so],” he said.

He also said next week, PNB will introduce flexitime whereby employees could choose the hours they want to work as long as they deliver. 

“They can choose to work from home when they want. The key is trust, keeping your boss and colleagues informed. And being reachable,” he added.