Over many years, the lifestyle in Malaysia has changed considerably. When I was in business, I could felt the shift especially towards the end of the year. Not many people will be around and hence, in organisations which do not have clear level of authorities or delegation, no decision will be made.
One may wonder whether such change is necessary? Well, for those who had been slogging throughout the year, a fairly long and meaningful break is certainly something that they deserve. We are all human beings and the body and mind need a break as well. The idea is that when we go back to work after our holidays, our minds will be fresh to engage issues and challenges at the office, resulting in higher performance.
I suppose with proper planning, we could minimise business disruption and maximise the refreshment process of the people in organisations. While this could require significant efforts, proper planning helps to ensure business could continue unhindered while people could have meaningful time away from work demands, even from their Blackberries. In fact, organisations need to develop policies which address the issue of how much a person who is on leave should be connected to the organisations virtually. Sometimes, being on holiday could be more stressing if the blackberries keep on beeping.
Delegation and clear authority levels would help those who are left in the office to respond to unplanned situations. This will not only ensures customers or stakeholders to experience continuous service, but free those on leave to enjoy the break they deserve. However, I am sure we are used to being told that the person in-charge of the issue is on leave and we have to wait for the person to return before the issue could be attended.
Given that Malaysia celebrates many holidays, some people are questioning whether a total shutdown of business at the end of the year really helps. Given that Chinese New Year will be celebrated in January/February, we have many new years in a short period of time. Sometimes, the start/stop situation could also cause disruption to business and people need to shift into many gears in a short span of time.
Enjoy the holiday season and have a meaningful break.