Hi everyone, Ignatius here. I have co-founded JaGaApp along with my other working Director David and this is my first time writing for JaGaCorner.
In this installation, I have been asked to share about our experience working from home (WFH) and how our company is coping during this period.
The honest truth is we are continuously adapting. Employer or employee, staff or customer; we have all been thrown into the deep end of the pool. At JaGaApp we have been working from home off and on since early 2020 and this one and a half years have definitely taught us a lot.
We made some mistakes. We lost some good people along the way, lost some clients and our development and operations suffered. Every division of the company, from sales to operations, customer service to tech development has had to change. The way we work, the methods we use, our expectations and our goals.
Amongst the many lessons I have learnt, I would like to touch on three of them in this article.
An obvious byproduct of working from home is that we don’t get to physically see or be near each other. Whatever your relationship is to others – a supervisor, a colleague, a boss, or even a partner – the inability to physically “see each other” creates problems. I guess it’s no different from a “long-distance relationship”. Thinking back to the times when my wife and I were dating – I was younger, she was in university in England and naturally we had our fair share of shall I say disagreements. All this, because of the lack of trust.
At JaGaApp, we actively promote this concept of trust between each other. Having this trust enables every one of us to freely speak our minds, listen for the care and love behind each criticism; and cultivates a stable base on which we can build on. We actively encourage dialogues on trust and a big part of this will require openness and transparency. We did not know it at first, but this start was key to our continued success thus far.
Today we actively try out new technological solutions like gather.town that enables us to be “together virtually”. We also conduct weekly companywide meets called JaGather, as well as daily check-ins for every department just so that we know what each other is doing. We acknowledge we do not know it all, we encourage everyone to speak up and we test each other’s suggestions; pushing each other positively towards a better tomorrow.
Continuing on from the last point I made where we conduct daily check-ins to sync up, it is super important to define our tasks and goals, be it a daily task like I just want to get these reports done, weekly goals like tech development stacks, or even monthly or quarterly goals like sales goals.
These goals should be aligned with the overall goals of the company and that way, every member of the team although separated physically will be moving together towards a common direction. I realize that this simple honest approach of daily check-ins truly highlights not just the work that has been done or to be done, the success or wins but importantly any potential issues before they arise.
But calling it for what it is is not just about tasks, goals, and targets but must include the uglier side of life. Despite check-ins and meeting as often as we need to, I am always mindful that emotions, stress, or depression are very prevalent especially in this “new world”. At JaGaApp we are blessed with a great team and HR personnel whom together with each Director, Manager, or Head-of-Department often do random check-ins with our teammates to motivate and also to gauge their current situation.
During our daily check-ins, we define our daily goals, our to-do’s. We get a sense of each other’s workload and look for ways we can help each other, even if it’s just an advice or words of encouragement.
Something we recently started to do is to celebrate our wins. I believe this was a missing piece of our ongoing lesson on WFH and the new work order. We celebrate using different avenues such as WhatsApp group chats, our weekly companywide gathering, or even in our department daily check-ins, calling out the winners and giving credit when it is due.
Given that all of us are “working alone” it is always a confidence boost to know that the company is achieving success and people are cheering for us and our wins. Motivating each other through success creates an environment of success and as this perpetuates, the company and everyone in it will be a winner.
Finally, with the current economic climate and the many sharing on social media about the downtrodden and needy, it is a good a time as any for us to do our bit and launch JaGaCare.
JaGaCare is our CSR effort to make a difference to the lives of the needy. Our hope as developers of the JaGaApp platform is to use this platform not just towards commercial success but also to utilize it to empower change and contribute positively to society.
We have many exciting programs that we will be launching going forward, but for now it will start with the most basic. Within JaGaApp we are helping to promote 5 organizations as listed below:
Great Heart Charity Association is a tax-exempted charity organization that helps people who face difficulties in life (underprivileged families, dialysis patients, children from orphanages, residents from old folks’ homes and persons with disabilities), and connect their beneficiaries with contributors and volunteers.
Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia is a NGO that aims to create “zero hunger” communities throughout Malaysia by using donor funds to acquire basic necessities for B40 families. It helps to reduce food waste from manufacturers, wholesalers, hypermarkets, and households, as well as lessen the cost of living for underprivileged Malaysian.
Mercy Malaysia is an international NGO focusing on providing medical relief, sustainable health-related development in the Health Ministry, and risk reduction activities for vulnerable communities.
SimplyGiving is Asia’s leading crowdfunding platform for social impact. Their Lost Food Project rescues “lost” (or surplus) food, nutritious food from going to landfill, and re-distributes these food to up to 60 charities and soup kitchens as well as numerous B40 communities who live below the poverty line. A donation of RM20 helps rescue the equivalent of 100 meals.
Kechara Soup Kitchen has been serving marginalised communities (homeless, urban poor and Orang Asli populations) in Malaysia for over 13 years. Kechara Soup Kitchen have expanded to reach the urban poor via their Food Bank and Empowerment Programs and provide assistance to the most vulnerable segments of our community.
We are brought together by a desire to do the best for our neighborhoods and a strong sense of community spirit. My team and I sincerely hope that you will join us to help others in our community who are less fortunate and need help.
I hope to reach out to you all again. In the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe.
A Work From Home
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Together let’s make our community better 💕.
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