Malaysian firm Twistcode pronounces 4-day work week for workers

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The supercomputer and AI solution provider Twistcode has announced that it will introduce a 4-day work week from July 23, 2021.

This may make it the first Malaysian company to announce it. However, when we talk about companies in Malaysia that do 4-day workweek, one that has been doing so since December 2020 is the Australia-based Commission Factory.

While Commission Factory left it up to its employees to choose which day of the week to withdraw, Twistcode has stated that its employees will work Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s not as flexible as Commission Factory’s implementation, but it’s still a bold move for a Malaysian company. At most, we have seen some announce permanent WFH for employees, such as Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).

A leap that not many Malaysian employers dare to take

Since its inception in 2006, Twistcode has specialized in supercomputing, using homemade GPU-based supercomputers to power its services and solutions.

Today, the Cyberjaya-based company offers AI solutions, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) application development as well as high performance computing. It has worked with several government agencies to date.

Since his work appears to be largely customer-oriented, the question arises as to how expectations are dealt with. In its Facebook Post announcement, however, it assured that its online services will continue as usual and that no changes will be made to the implementation of its roadmap.

This leads us to believe that the team has thought about how to work and already has appropriate procedures in place to ensure that their work is not interrupted. Founder and CEO Nurazam Malim announced on LinkedIn that employee salaries will not be affected.

The implementation sounds easy, but the implementation of new SOPs and their compliance by employees is not an easy challenge.

People’s behavior can be unpredictable, which is why not many employers may be ready to take the plunge just yet, especially during the pandemic.

There are already concerns about employee productivity during WFH or remote work, what more is there than the concept of working fewer hours? Getting things done seems counterintuitive.

However, the statistics say otherwise

Workplace distractions are even greater when many of us work on computers these days. Various studies abroad have shown that employees can waste between 35 minutes and 3 hours of their time on a working day, excluding lunch breaks and planned break times.

At best, we waste around 2.5 hours of work every week; In the worst case, we waste 15 hours of work in a week. That’s more than a work day spent browsing websites, working on other non-essential projects, etc.

Therefore, there is a chance that a 4-day week can alleviate this waste of time. Employees now need to make sure their job is done in the shorter timeframe, but they may be more motivated to do so, knowing they have an extra day off each week to look forward to.

Of course, these factors can vary from company to company. Employees need to ensure that they are not just cramming 5 days of work into 4 days, but actively communicating with their supervisors to manage their workload intelligently.

Proper management would be critical to success

It is unclear whether Twistcode intends to introduce the 4-day week as permanent official working time or whether things will change after the pandemic.

For now, it simply means that this change will apply “until further notice”. Hopefully the employees do not work overtime on their 4 working days.

If properly managed, this is a strategy that could increase the company’s efficiency while attracting more and younger talent.

However, we found that “bad management” was a common allegation for the company on Glassdoor and JobStreet reviews. It’s unclear how up-to-date the reviews on Glassdoor are, but the reviews on JobStreet are at least 7 months old.

Nurazam acknowledged that Twistcode practices minimal surveillance in the workplace, which may have resulted in some employees perceiving this as poor management. Put simply, it could be said that expectations are mismatched.

But if these ratings are taken at face value, a 4-day week alone would not make employees happier or more productive, nor would it prevent possible burnout, as Twistcode intends.

To achieve significant results from this change, Twistcode would need to: a) ensure that its talents match the company; and b) fill alleged gaps in its management strategies. If all goes as planned, the company could share more details of its 4-day-week strategies so more Malaysian employers can take an example.

  • Learn more about Twistcode here.
  • Further job-related content can be found here.

Photo credit: Nurazam Malim, Founder and CEO of Twistcode

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