The New Normal: Ung Yiu Lin

31 May 2020 / 16:53 H.

What is your WFH routine like?

“Being an entrepreneur, I don’t really have a desk job from 9 to 5 but it involves a lot of multitasking.

“I do spend a few hours out of the house every day to go to the office for a quick management meeting and store visits, to make sure the team is motivated despite this crisis.

“My eldest child Zara, has online classes from 8am to 1pm every day. On top of that, I also have to look after my two younger children. So there isn’t really a fixed routine.”

How does it differ from working in the office?

“I always tell people that we have to look at productivity in a different light; it’ll never be the same, it’ll never be the ‘normal’ we were so used to.

“So what is the new normal and how do we adapt right? We’ve to be less harsh on ourselves in expecting to hit a level of productivity, instead, we have to make the best out of this situation.”

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

“Not really. Juggling my multiple roles mean I move from the kitchen to homeschooling Zara in her room, to the swimming pool with the kids, to finding some space to do photoshoots for the brands we’re selling in our stores, to making Zoom calls with my Singaporean partners.”

Does it give you a better work-life balance?

“In hindsight, I’m able to refocus and reprioritise my energy on what really is important during this MCO. I’m truly grateful and blessed with a roof over my head, surrounded by my family and loved ones. At the end of the day, it’s really that simple.

“Instead of being so busy, my husband and I are always present with our kids at home. We truly see them in their own light. If anything, I think the kids have blossomed during this period.”

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

“I’ve found different levels of productivity and efficiency. I’ve started gardening, cooking more frequently and trying out new recipes. I’ve also learned how to edit my own videos instead of hiring a videographer as I did previously.

“At the same time, I am trying to master TikTok because it’s so relevant in this day and age. It’s about engaging captive audiences who are always on their smart devices at home to ensure the survival of our businesses.”

Is there a possibility of continuing to WFH for you and your team?

“Our retail staff obviously can’t work from home, but in our office, we’re practising safe hygiene and social distancing.

“Working from home is a matter of flexibility, so when we do meet in person, we make sure that the proper standard operating procedure is in place.

“It’s not realistic to just be cooped up at home. Embracing the new normal means not being overly paranoid, we’re still being hygienic and boosting our immunity, but at the same time, we still need to go out. Everyone needs to live life and be careful.”

Ung Yiu Lin, Shoes Shoes Shoes and KLutched founder

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