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The New Normal: Neelofa

27 May 2020 / 10:52 H.

What is your WFH routine is like?

“We are back in the office again. But some of my staff are still working from home. I find communication takes longer when you are working from home. I am more efficient when I am facing my staff. I can give out instructions immediately. I can react immediately to a problem we are facing at work.

“When we were first told to work from home, I loved the idea. It was something new. It was something I wanted to try. I enjoyed the experience of talking to my staff and my clients through video conferences. I am happy that I have some experience of what it is like working from home.”

How does it differ from working in the office?

“In the past, I used to travel overseas a lot, for my work. Because of the lockdown, we were not encouraged to travel. We have to spend time in our house. I got to enjoy my house and my room more. There are places in my house I have never entered. I also learnt to enjoy my own company. It’s important for you to enjoy your own company.”

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

“I used to have an office space in my house before the lockdown. I rarely used this office space in my house. But during the lockdown I made full use of the space.”

Does it give you a better work life balance?

“I get to spend more time with my mother and my family. I have a lot more conversations with my family. We do a lot of activities together, from fasting to prayers. My mother loves the fact that I am in the house more often.

“I have been working like a robot. Working from home has given me time to shut down, to heal and recover.”

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

“I did not pick up any new hobbies. But it has given me plenty of time to reflect on the purpose of my life, and on the future goals for my company. 2020 was supposed to be the year I bring my fashion label to the international limelight.

“I was supposed to act in an Indonesian movie in April, and this was supposed to open doors for my fashion label to enter the Indonesian market. All these goals have to be postponed with the situation we are facing. But I have not given up my dream to go international. I have new plans and new goals.”

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

“I do not think I will continue the idea of working from home after this is over. I love to have a more personal touch with my staff and my clients. Things move at a faster pace when I am working in the office.”

Neelofa, actress and businesswoman

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