Malaysia: Work from home or work from hotel?

Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO or PKP) has given rise to an alternative for the WFH acronym – work from hotel.
By: | November 11, 2020

Hotels in Penang, the Klang Valley, Malacca and Johor – in their bid to stay afloat in the midst of the pandemic – are promoting a new kind of “WFH”: Work from hotel. 

This trend comes in the wake of months of the ban on international travel on top of the implementation of the local MCO which has drastically reduced hotels’ occupancy rates from between 80% and 90% pre-COVID to 10% and 20% now, said The Star.  

A five-star hotel in Penang’s Gurney Drive has introduced co-working spaces in its establishment for people to work away from family, including throwing in the use of its gym and swimming pool to sweeten the deal. 

Another Penang hotel in the heart of George Town has transformed a whole floor of suites into meeting rooms for six to eight people each.  

These moves have gotten mixed reviews. 

“I think the idea is great as many of us are bored of working from home and we need to get rejuvenated. A change of environment will definitely boost productivity,” said Teoh, who has been working from home for five months.  

“It gets to you, because you are working in a small and confined space,” said shipping company manager Edmund Teo, 35. 

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Others, however, are not so receptive.  

“Why would I spend a few days working from a hotel and pay for the workspace at a time when it’s better to be away from crowds? Many of us have equipped our houses with the necessary office tools as it looks like we will be in for the long haul in this pandemic,” said Azmi Kamaruddin, 41, a systems analyst with a multinational company, who felt that at a time when many people need to cut down on expenses, working from home helps them to do it.