The New Normal: Shahrizar Roslan

18 May 2020 / 14:52 H.

What is your WFH routine like?

“My wife and I used to get up at 6am to get my son ready for school, and drive to work in KL (I live in Seremban). Working from home has removed our daily commute of three hours and that has definitely been a positive experience.

“Nowadays we sleep in a little more and are ready to start work and school activities with my son by 10am. But it’s definitely a juggling act of keeping a 6-year-old boy occupied at home and managing the sleep and play schedules of our 10-month-old daughter.”

How does it differ from working in the office?

“I do not feel working from home can fully replace working at the office for me. I am a strong believer of face to face interaction and keeping a healthy communication going throughout a workday.

“Working from home sacrifices this camaraderie and makes it easier for individuals to feel like they are working in a vacuum. Specifically for me, the lack of uninterrupted work time is acute. It’s usually a blessing to get even 30 minutes without interruption now.

“Furthermore, what could have been a quick walk to my team mate’s desk to see their work and give feedback takes more planning and effort. There is a lot of social bonding that happens outside of work topics, a casual chat over lunch can build lasting relationships.”

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

“I did have space for a home workspace for one person, but since now it includes my wife and my son (who has to do his studies) we all just share the dining table. It’s a central location and we can keep an eye on the kids.”

Does it give you a better work-life balance?

“I think work has mostly been negatively impacted. However, life has definitely been more fulfilling.

“We as a family have done activities that I thought would never happen in my life. The whole family painted miniatures, my son and my wife (who had zero interest in them before) have worked on meticulously painting them together.

“The last time I painted miniatures was five years back, and here we were as a family sitting and painting them. That felt magical to me.”

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

“Rather than new hobbies, it’s more like reconnecting with my existing interests. I have started painting again and got back to reading my huge backlog of books. I even started playing the other 90% of games in my Steam library.”

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

“Yes, but it is more due to caution rather than opting to be victims of post-MCO madness on the roads. We will most probably go to work a week or two after the MCO is lifted, just to let things get back to some semblance of normalcy.”

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