During these uncertain times, industries all over the world are affected by this pandemic. Thus, we have caught up with a few interior designers in Malaysia to discuss on how COVID-19 has effected the Design industry and their businesses.
1. HOW HAS COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY YOUR COMPANY DOES BUSINESS?
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: COVID 19 brought about the Movement Control Order (MCO) which was what affected our business, rather than the virus itself. Due to the MCO, the biggest change was the manner we conducted our business, as we had to promote a non-physical business approach. Our communication with each other and with our clients had to now be done via social platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, as well as through our official website and emails. Besides that, we also had to learn to work from home.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: The nature of our business requires us to meet clients and vendors face to face, do frequent site visits and run-a rounds for purchasing. The implementation of MCO has forced us to halt all of these for the moment, but they will resume when MCO is over. Currently we are more focused on branding and marketing our company, online. With the time we have working from home, we are studying effective advertising patterns on social media, hoping to boost our reputation and increase business chances during and after COVID-19.
Matthew Lim, MLA: Of course, everyone is trying to adapt and adopt to this new ‘norm’ where communication is no longer measured by physical presence but through virtual methods like Zoom and video calls. Since most discussion and work-related communications are carried out online, it also shows that you can be efficient and productive no matter where you are — in or out of office.
Roozbeh Taebi, Rooz Studio Sdn Bhd: The moment the MCO started we were in the middle of the construction of a large scale private residential project and we had to stop the on site work. However our design team carried on with the work that can be done through computer such as drawing and design as well as costing for projects.
Jake Chow, Dot Works: The health, hygiene and welfare of employees will take on increased priority. Secondly, increasing shift towards remote deployment. To minimise chances of physically present at workplace.
Tan Yong Meng, Build Easy Sdn Bhd: As with every ID & Build company, we are affected as well. Fortunately, we immediately initiated WFH for the team and to my surprise, we seem to be coping quite well with it. We’re getting used to the ‘new normal’ and moving forward, we expect more meetings to be done virtually for all our customers in Malaysia & Vietnam.
2. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS, DURING THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: It’s a rare situation that occurs which no one else have seen before. Therefore it created many uncertainties to the market and to business owners like us. Businesses tend to either observe the situation first before any decision is made or put a hold to projects in order to preserve extra costs being spent when you are not allowed to engage with anyone or go anywhere during this period of time. No one is able to predict what’s next to come during this pandemic situation.
Alex Lim, IDS: COVID 19 is a global pandemic no one has faced before, the distancing of the people is one of the way to avoid infected and spread the virus, avoiding gathering for discussions or presentation. Since then , we are not able to present our design concept in a more effective way and implement it. This is the challenges we are facing now. Secondly, we are most dependent on the human resource in our business and those are mostly monthly fixed expenses incurred, if projects are not progressively implemented, collection will be a problem, it’s a chain link.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: The interior design industry is considered a service line, hence meeting people is an essential part of our business. Discussions, presentations, and negotiations are preferably done face to face, so that clients feel more confident and comfortable with us. Now we have to do everything online, the major challenge is how do we make communication effectively, with clients and vendors. It is also harder for us to close new cases.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: The biggest challenge is to keep the entire team to stay together to fight through this difficult period. Having each other working remotely and to keep everyone’s spirits up has been challenging especially when we don’t see each other.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: The biggest challenge for us is the limitations that working from home initially brought, as this was not something we were used to. We had to make conscious efforts to change our behaviour, our work process, and our routines with new methods. We faced difficulty when we weren’t able to meet with our clients and suppliers, as some of them are not working, thus limiting our access to vital information needed to keep projects running. Besides that, working from home is also much harder when all our equipments are in the office, which slows our progress. Some of our projects at site are now all on hold and aren’t able to proceed, causing financial delays and uncertainty, which becomes a problem for us. We can only hope that the MCO will not result in the cancellation of our ongoing projects.
Ronnie Tan, Amorphous Design Sdn Bhd: The biggest challenge for most businesses at the moment is to secure a deal. In our case, it’s challenging to secure a project remotely because most of the time we are required to take site measurement & photos for our designing and costing work. In certain cases, site visit is where we seek inspiration for that particular project.
Syahir Ali, Kort Studio Sdn Bhd: To close a new project deal. We often close a projects with any particular client by having a face to face presentation session, where we will get an immediate feedback from the potential client, now we have to wait for the feedback (probably never get any) and face to face presentation session can’t be held so psychologically it’s hard to tell if the idea presented is generally accepted or otherwise.
3. WHAT ARE THE NEW WAYS YOUR COMPANY HAS IMPLEMENTED TO HELP RUN THE BUSINESS MORE SMOOTHLY?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: It goes as usual, nothing much fancy has changed the working methods. We still call & attend for meetings as usual, except that it is all through conference calls. We have this practice since 2017 with oversea clients. Employees still work on their desk with their laptops except that it’s at home basis. Our server is all cloud based. So accessing to documents are always convenient.
Matthew Lim, MLA: At the moment, we are leveraging a lot on technology while setting new SOPs to help boost our work efficiency. Thankfully with everything that is happening, we now have time to focus on other matters like our website revamp, branding and marketing.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: Digitalise all works and make good use of Online Server systems, Security Network and Online Meetings. Daily reporting, keeping the team mates updated and enhancing the internal reporting system has helped to make all works in clarity and can be easily monitored.
Ho Han Boon, IQI Concept: The online communication tools have helped us communicate effectively within our team in this difficult time. We make sure to have frequent meetings to ensure everything is on track. Other than that, we are also giving training online to further enhance the team’s skills and knowledge. This would make us well prepared once we are back to work. We have also been actively updating and promoting online via our social media platforms to reach out to potential clients and maintain our online presence in the community.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: We have developed a new reporting system for our internal office affairs. For example, we use Whastapp for daily updates on project statuses, and when we need to conduct meetings, we use various video conferencing platforms. We need to be organized and develop a healthy communication pattern that allows us to be aware of each other’s progress status so that we can assist and support each other during this time. On the client’s side, we keep them updated with constant communication, reassuring them of our progress and effectively keeping them up to date.
Tan Yong Meng, Build Easy Sdn Bhd: We’ve been using ASANA all this while for work management for our operations in Malaysia and Vietnam, not to mention ZOOM calls as well. We took this WFH period to initiate a lot of procedures, organised the operating methodology & hopefully it will prepare us for the future.
Ronnie Tan, Amorphous Design Sdn Bhd: Prepping the team weekly rhythm, by kicking off Monday with online meeting on the targets for the particular week and signing off the week on Friday with status updates, so the whole team will be aware of each other’s progress.
Lloyds Lee, Raynce, Tee Yau, Code Red Studio Sdn Bhd: Our company are keeping our momentum on design works. We felt that it has been better because more time could be spent on the design without interference of site issues and meetings. So we implemented a very frequent design discussions among designers to ‘crit’ on ideas. Video conferencing and article sharing are helping us and our designers to improve and expose ourselves to more ideas. We are also encouraging designers to spend more time on reading materials. We also take the opportunity to publish our completed works on social medias and website. As we know that the current lock-down are making more people spend time on social media, we published our new works during this time for more market exposure.
4. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING CONTACT WITH YOUR CLIENTS AND EMPLOYEES?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: Definitely tech & communication softwares played a big part on this. Meetings became more efficient when you can have 4 to 5 face time meetings compared before the lock-down when you are required to travel with limits a max of 2 or 3 meetings per day. This pandemic have remodelled business owners to seriously invest and look into tech savy ways for communication and efficiency. We definitely got more time to do multiple things and finishing tasks when your stuck in 1 place. Even more time spent on communicating with internal employees compared before & at the same time spend more quality time with love ones at home.
Steph Low, Yong Studio: We have meetings often, and to understand each other more. It is still under the same concept as per-usual, but now we do it online.
Matthew Lim, MLA: We mostly keep in touch and catch up with clients, employees and friends through social media, Zoom calls and WhatsApp. Through social media, we are also trying to spread some happiness and love by sharing positive messages to our followers.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: For clients, we mostly contact via whatsapp texts, voice messages, videos, or whichever medium is comfortable with the client. We try our best to keep in touch with them even if site works have stopped, by sending design references and ideas, particularly kitchen functions. As for employees, we have a whatsapp group that we keep each other updated on progress and latest issues.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: Treat them like friends. We don’t hangout throughout this period but we speak over the phone and contact each other frequently. Only friendship can keep us connected to each other in the long run.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: We keep in contact with our clients via digital platforms, mainly via WhatsApp and phone calls. It is important for us to regularly send friendly care messages, ask about their well-being and maintain a healthy relationship. We always want our clients to experience a human touch & emotional support from us, as we are there to support them, rather than just function as a business.
Megan Lai, Ground Up Sdn Bhd: When we first heard of COVID-19, we took some precaution with social distancing by cutting down face-to-face meetings with clients. When MCO started and we worked from home, we ensure that we are in constant communication with our clients, team mates and industry partners via WhatsApp or Skype/Zoom/Google Hangout. As for our followers on social media (Instagram in particular), we provide regular feeds to send good vibes and keep them connected. Internally, we also practice weekly reporting on our work statuses to ensure tasks are being completed. During this downtime, we focused on marketing and took the opportunity to launch our new website. This platform has more information about who we are and what we do, which we believe can reach a further audience.
5. WHAT ARE THE WAYS YOU’VE BEEN KEEPING UP THE SPIRITS/MORALE WITHIN THE COMPANY?
Say Yang, Say Win, Nevermore Group: We keep each other close with weekly updates among us, providing training to our designers, making sure they are constantly updated with the latest design trends.
Matthew Lim, MLA: Lots of positive energy to start with. We also have weekly group meetings and WIP calls to build the team spirit. We also encourage learning programs to improve on skills and weaknesses of our team members.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: We share designs and idea references we found online to the whatsapp group, like the latest technologies and trends. We also post past projects photos on social media and give the designer-in-charge credit by mentioning their names and complimenting them.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: We give the entire team a lot of confidence and to feel safe in the company. Nothing bad is happening is just the mode of work has changed.
Ho Han Boon, IQI Concept: We make sure to stay connected even virtually so that everyone is safe and healthy mentally and physically during this pandemic. We have been hosting cooking challenges and workout sessions to keep the team’s body fit and their spirit high.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: We believe in transparency in our conduct. This means that we often discuss our financial status, the reality of our current situation, and how this pandemic may affect us in the future. In our day to day reporting, we make sure we talk about safety and well-being aside from our shared workload. Besides that, we have started providing personal development training, which encouraged our teams to work on inner strength and mental awareness. We believe that sharing and learning together has allowed us to stay positive and practice mutual encouragement. Aside from that, we have also started encouraging our team to be open-minded, multi-task and develop new skills during the MCO as this is a great time for learning.
Steph Low, Yong Studio: We still meet each other daily for a short discussion, to make sure everyone stays motivated about work, and the trust is important to have during this moment.
Evan Gan, Trinity Design Studio: I think that willpower is the key to keep up the spirits, regardless how bad the market environmental factors are. Once we keep our attitude right, everything would be easy to adapt to.
Megan Lai, Ground Up Sdn Bhd: As we are in constant communication about work matters, we also share more on our daily life at home like sharing our cooking or work out videos to entertain each other. We also try to update the team on project statuses as well as the company’s well being. By keeping each other within the loop on these matters, we ensure that no one feels isolated or feels uncertain about their near future. An added initiative team leaders take is reminding the team that their contributions continue to add value to the office.
Ronnie Tan, Amorphous Design Sdn Bhd: We try to create a winning momentum by celebrating our teams achievement through announcement of newly confirmed job, recognition of individual performance and encouragement of personal growth.
Lloyds Lee, Raynce, Tee Yau, Code Red Studio Sdn Bhd: We want to let them know that their welfare is at our attention. We also frequently text our employees for a little chat. The bonding shall be kept tight and to let the whole team know that we are in this situation as a family. For example : We ordered package containing fruits and masks from gifts company and got it sent to the home of our employees.
6. HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED THE BUILT AND DESIGN INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA?
Alex Lim, IDS: With this pandemic, the spending behavior and mindset of consumers will change tremendously in future, but I believe our Interior Design consultancy services or design and built services still demanding despite the pandemic, even though it is not essential products but the need is still there, or in niche market.
Jake Chow, Dot Works: The world is set up by, any form of design, built works. Design is evergreen, in anywhere, any situation. It will only get greater, day by day.
Ivan Chong, WLEA Enterprise Sdn Bhd: My opinion which I could say this covid-19 have really affect the lifestyle of the whole world, or worst, the economy. We are not so well prepared for this virus at the beginning but with the help of government, we are very well protected as well. The affects on design and built industry mostly will be owner not willing to spend much on the renovation work. Therefore, I’m here to help these home owners on what’s the essential things to do in a home during the renovation work, explain to them which kind of material and design wise that can save cost, while bringing out the same effect that my clients want.
Matthew Lim, MLA: In my opinion, there may be a significant number of unemployment and company closures after this MCO. Bigger firms will probably scale down their operations as well. A lot of design firms especially start-ups will have to provide lower design fees to accommodate to the competitiveness of the industry post-Covid19. As a professional ID consultant, we should stand firm on our creative fees and charges while focusing on creating new additional values to our client in hopes to create a healthy competitive landscape rather than going into a price war.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: Since the movement control order was implemented back in March, it has highly affected the build industry because none of the physical works are allowed to be carried out. On the other side, it is a good time to plan and clear all the back log works in the office. We get more things settled and prepared for resuming of works, more work compared to what we were doing before this.
Ho Han Boon, IQI Concept: People will be more careful in planning their finances due to the economic situation now. As designers we would still want to provide our clients with good designs without breaking the bank. Hence, our purchasing and designer team has been studying new materials and working closely with suppliers to provide a solution to our clients.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: Uncertainty about our future has crept in, as most of our project sites are on a standstill. This affects us tremendously as this is our core business and how our fundamental designs are applied. We can’t speak for everyone in the industry, but we do know for certain that Interior Design is highly interrelated with many other professional platforms, such as suppliers, architects and contractors. In one way or another, we all are affected by each other.
Jake Chow, Dot Works: The world is set up by, any form of design, built works. Design is evergreen, in anywhere, any situation. It will only gets greater, day by day.
Megan Lai, Ground Up Sdn Bhd: I gather from some friends in the industry, be it architecture, interior design or construction; that many projects have been on hold. Existing clients will want to slow down projects due to uncertainties whereas potential clients may fear kick starting a new project altogether. This standstill would mean the industry takes a financial hit. As such companies are looking for different means of survival, whether it is looking at other revenue streams such as joining competitions to design/build Covid-19 relief or memorial centers; or focusing on marketing by improving their online presence and refining their social media content, as we are doing.
Syahir Ali, Kort Studio Sdn Bhd: As an interior designer, we are a problem solver, we are not in the front lines during this crisis but we do have important innovation and challenging work to do behind the scenes in creating the space that are able to make people less nervous by standing next to each other. Open space planning might not be the thing any more.
7. HOW WILL THIS CHANGE THE WAY THE MALAYSIAN BUILT INDUSTRY DOES BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: It’s never easy to go through situation like this especially when it’s unpredictable. Imagine the costs that they will have to bare during this period of time. Well, the key to a successful built industry is always speed & quality. There are no short cuts we have seen so far to this. Except that we will be expecting more creative marketing ways through the online platform to stay competitive & to be heard in future coming.
Alex Lim, IDS: As a principle of the company, internally, the spirits of the team must always keeping up with more positives mindset and encouragement, We have to calm down and reshuffle the entire working and business models and change the business direction due to the pandemic and peoples mindset at this time, Cut down unnecessary expenses and improve the quality of the work, positioning company business direction and strategy. Externally we must be sensitive with the IT and grasp of market reactions, expanding networking and positioning company branding and direction.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: I believe when this pandemic is over; the entire market will opt for more efficient ways to work and be more effective in terms of communication and completing tasks. The market will be more focus and goal oriented, also, be well prepared for any upcoming circumstances.
Ho Han Boon, IQI Concept: I think people will be staying indoors more and practice social distancing after this pandemic. So it is an opportunity for us to explore more fresh design ideas for this new norm. There will be definitely changes in terms of space planning & functionality, hygiene will be also another important consideration therefore designing in a way that can reduce virus/bacteria contamination, for example reducing flat surfaces where germs can sit or improve air ventilation system.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: Standard operating procedures (SOP) will see a change, as we now have to adopt a ‘new normal’. We can only imagine that site work will have a new list of precautions, and face to face communication will reduce drastically. Even in the office, we predict that a large shift will take place in how we work as we will have less physical contact and are required to practice social distancing even after the MCO ends. Perhaps new offices will be smaller as more people will be working from home, and meeting room sizes and seating arrangements will change to accommodate social distancing. Although the new SOPs will be different from what we know, discoveries will continue to emerge, and we will find new ways to get work done.
Lloyds Lee, Raynce, Tee Yau, Code Red Studio Sdn Bhd: In our opinion, the built industry may rely heavily on the enhancement of media and technology advancement. Meetings and discussion may be held via online. Presentations, working models and drawings can be shared to clients, consultants and contractor with more enhanced integrated software. Enhanced visual presentation like hologram or virtual reality may take over physical model, sample boards or even show units. Site coordination may also be replaced by virtual site inspection.
Syahir Ali, Kort Studio Sdn Bhd: Looking at the current situation you can’t really know what is going to happen the next week, but what we can be sure is a lot of technologies will take over manpower. The development of 3D printing for instance, that can even built a living house with only 2 or 3 software operator rather than 20 labour. The built industry will evolve around new technology and a lot building method and materials has been introduces to save time of the construction and eventually, save money.
8. HOW CAN THE BUILT INDUSTRY HELP THE ECONOMICAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, POST COVID-19?
Say Yang, Say Win, Nevermore Group: With a well known sustainable living, Malaysia has been ” the destination ” for second home program for many foreign investors; such as Hong Kong, China, Indonesia. With good & quality development , we will definitely attract for foreign investment.
Matthew Lim, MLA: Post-Covid19, we’ll see a lot of new developments slowing down or go on a halt. I believe joint ventures and consortium can help the built industry diversify its major expenses and come out with inclusive ways to bounce back.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: By constructing more buildings with higher aesthetics/art value, making it an interesting landmark, to attract tourists and art/architecture lovers.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: Malaysia is a developing country; construction industry considered as one of the biggest impact to help the country’s economic. We believe it will have more job opportunity after Covid-19 in due to the change of mindset, and working formats. Besides, there is a lot of ideas coming up throughout this period that we can introduce and implement to the design and build industry and shall bring more excitement and opportunities to the market, as well as in other industries.
Megan Lai, Ground Up Sdn Bhd: This is a tough one. Generally we can approach designing and building with sustainable solutions. Whether it be using recycled materials, or sourcing local products. This would provide some cushion for cost sensitive projects. As a result, we could arrive at better designs that are cost efficient.
Lloyds Lee, Raynce, Tee Yau, Code Red Studio Sdn Bhd: In our opinion, designers can help by re-thinking and re-look into the behaviour of end-user during their confinement period at home. Designer’s shall have to put more emphasis on relation between materials selection, colours and space to user’s behaviour. Designers shall also help and advise clients to prioritize and make good allocations on their costing and budgets during the designing stage. The design has to take into account of user’s sustainability and lifestyle.
9. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT PRACTICES YOU HAVE ACQUIRED IN YOUR BUSINESSES DURING THESE TIME THAT YOU WILL BRING FORWARD AND IMPLEMENT IN THE FUTURE?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: Working from home would be something that we will implement in the near future. As we see that it is also a method of energy saving and reduction of carbon dioxide from travelling. You might even slowly realised that you don’t require a huge work space any more. Things can still be productive when everything is still in contact and communicated through modern gadgets.
Ho Han Boon, IQI Concept: Since the MCO, we have largely relied on online communication and have been doing very well. Therefore, online presentations or meetings will still be implemented if there are clients that are not based locally. Other than that, online video meetings help to save a huge amount of travel time and cost for the company. Meetings can now be conducted any time and anywhere which also means, decisions can be made quicker and problems that arise can be solved almost immediately. With more time saved, we can use the extra time and saved to invest back into the team and also bring in more projects.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: We foresee a lot of incorporation of technology in our future conduct, such as the continuation of using social and digital platforms to communicate and run our business. We also foresee that the work from home culture will be part of our new norm as we start to gravitate towards a freelancing style work structure.
Tan Yong Meng, Build Easy Sdn Bhd: We actually initiated CSR work during this period, for example distributing food and coffee to front liners at PPUM (Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya) and this is something we will continue moving forward.
10. WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU DURING THIS CURRENT TIMES?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: So much of the negative causes from the pandemic, but on the other hand it educates us on how important it is to always be efficient, not only physically but also mentally making use of modern technologies to make life easier with all short-cuts & yet to have a work life balance. Secondly, playing a big role of going green. If you would to realise the air quality has been so much better with clearer skies. In a way that while we are working at home, we are contributing a little bit more to the environment.
Matthew Lim, MLA: The cross-pollination between companies in different industries that births many new creative innovations. I strongly believe the future of the market will be reserved for those who can break through the challenges with novelties and innovative measures.
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: Online classes on management and social media marketing. Others include online design portals like Pinkoi and famous international interior designer like Kelly Wearstler.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: I find that we have to be smart in dealing with hard time and negative influences. These negative impacts might be demotivating but on the other hand, make us work even harder and smarter. When tough time comes, we have to fight against it.
Kent Chan, Sense Design & Architecture Sdn Bhd: We are truly inspired by the cooperation shown by all Malaysians. While there are grumbles but we don’t see major issue like in the West, where people stage demonstration against the stay home order and ignoring the consequences that it brings. The PM and KKM DG are doing a really good job and making sure that our situation has not turn from bad to worse like some countries. Everyone’s hard work inspires us to keep looking to a brighter future.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: There is a sea of new possibilities, new products, new inventions, new platforms, as well as creative solutions to problem-solving. We find ourselves asking questions and brainstorming ideas on how to incorporate design in our near future, as new procedures, space planning, and special requirements become an important aspect. Everything will be very health-focused, which will impact our design and details. For example, we will start incorporating new technology and innovative approaches to everyday things such as doors, water closets, taps and many more via sensors and voice control.
Ronnie Tan, Amorphous Design Sdn Bhd: A message from a close associate has inspired me the most during this time. “He does not see this MCO as a lock-down but as an opportunity for self-contemplation, self-improvement, self-rejuvenation and most importantly the opportunity to spend time with family.” In every situation, there is always an opportunity for positivity.
Lloyds Lee, Raynce, Tee Yau, Code Red Studio Sdn Bhd: We are inspired by fellow Malaysians that adhere to the Government’s MCO orders and make the best out of this hard times. We are entertained by many social media sharing about home farming, cooking, singing and also exercising. These further inspired us to design a better space for future users.
11. WHAT POSITIVE OUTCOME WILL COME OUT OF THIS CRISIS?
Tennyson Chia, Sachi Interior Design: A reset to the global economy & also looking into a greener energy saving solution but definitely the increase of awareness to hygiene will make a huge impact globally.
Jackal Chua, Metrics Global: The pandemic had brought us time and opportunity to test and improve the trust between the company and the team members. This is so important for a team to improve together and go further. The crisis reminds us to be prepared at all times for all uncertainties and aware to all social issues happening around.
Kent Chan, Sense Design & Architecture Sdn Bhd: The nature is healing on itself and it is good to see carefree animals roaming the streets, cleaner rivers and the air is less polluted. Maybe all countries should enforce two months stay home order every year. We have been sleeping well at night too without all the work stress.
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: People will become mentally stronger and more self-sufficient if they use their time wisely to learn new things and train themselves during this season. In terms of financial planning and managing our operations, we now have the time to carefully plan and access our situation and build up the necessary funds to sustain ourselves. We believe it is important to start a ‘pandemic fund’ so that we will be more prepared just in case any unforeseeable occurrences happen again in the future.
Jake Chow, Dot Works: Raising awareness on human behaviour and self hygiene. Look towards Green Building Index, all of us is responsible to fix all kinds of pollution, and global warming issue.
Megan Lai, Ground Up Sdn Bhd: A better bond between co-workers, clients and industry partners; and perhaps more trusting relationships between these parties formed with the continued services and empathy demonstrated during those trying times.
12. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST ONCE THE SITUATION SETTLES DOWN?
Nelson Yeoh, Archiplan: To be able to finally meet up with clients and vendors, and the chance to take in new talents into our company to strengthen the team, as we will be opening another line targeting different client base.
Roozbeh Taebi, Rooz Studio Sdn Bhd: I am so excited to see how technology will come to help us for a new life with less human interaction thus less congestion and traffic on the road.
Kent Chan, Sense Design & Architecture Sdn Bhd: We do miss all the action on site, the heated arguments, deadlines and of course the after work happy hours!
IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Ooi Design & Associates Sdn Bhd: We have to continuously keep a positive mindset and good spirit once the MCO comes to an end. We must remember all that we learned from these personal development training sessions and be more prepared about facing our future while staying optimistic that things will get better. We strive to take on new challenges and view them with a positive problem-solving mindset, while constantly learning, adapting and evolving as time goes on.
Jake Chow, Dot Works: It is definitely meeting up with the team, and endlessly create lovely space for the society.
Evan Gan, Trinity Design Studio: I am looking forward to meet & chill with my friends to have a catch up session, which I believe other people will too. Of course, I want to finish the projects that are yet to be completed previously as soon as possible.
Ronnie Tan, Amorphous Design Sdn Bhd: We owe our team a lunch as a reward for their hard work at the beginning of the year. So the first thing to do will be our first company lunch of the year to celebrate the wining momentum.