The New Normal: Elaine Chew

15 May 2020 / 10:25 H.

What is your WFH routine like ?

“I try to wake up at the same time [daily]. Do house chores, have breakfast, meetings via Zoom, exercise, do homework together with the kids, have dinner and watch a movie or play games together as a family.”

How does it differ from working in the office ?

“Working from home sounds easy and simple, but without self-motivation and self-discipline, focus and concentration is hard to achieve without work-life balance.

“Personally, I find it difficult because I have young kids and no helper at home. The kids are growing and they eat at least five meals a day, and as they are not going to school, I need to coach them on homework. At this moment I would prefer to work in the office.”

Do you have a designated area in your home that functions as a workspace?

“Being an entrepreneur, I used to work anywhere and anytime, and I do have a designated workspace at home.”

Does it give you a better work-life balance?

“As a mum, you have to deal with childcare, part-time tutors, house chores, and work at the same time. Work gets disrupted. So it’s not easy to achieve work-life balance.”

Has spending time at home given you the opportunity to pick up new hobbies?

“We did not allow our part-time maid to come. During this period, I did the house chores and started to understand their job better, and came up with an improved work schedule and house cleanliness management system.

“Secondly, being able to spend more time with the children also [allows me to] correct and change their habits, such as making the bed when they get up, and tidying up once homework is done, or once the movie is over.

“All these I was not able to enforce [before], because I don’t stay long enough with them during the day time. Even after work, I was too exhausted and not able to execute it.”

Once the MCO period is over, is there a possibility of continuing to WFH for you and your team?

“As a mum and wife working from home, time management is essential to juggle deadlines and take care of the family and do chores. In fact, we believe there are certain jobs and certain employees [more suited for] WFH.

“We should take this opportunity to study how to make it possible, and help them to achieve work-life balance.

“One thing’s for sure, after the MCO period is over, we will conduct more virtual meetings with our floor staff to improve communication, build a closer relationship and improve work processes.”

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