Working from home and loving it

Jason Oh, an employee of a hospitality company currently based in Hong Kong — one of the countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that saw schools being shut down and the government rolling out a fiscal stimulus package to ease the impact of the virus – was required to work from home after the Chinese New Year holidays until the end of February 2020. Here, Oh shares with how working from home has been like.

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Work from home: Tips for a productive workspace

How does it feel like? Describe your current workspace. 

The home is the most cosy and personal workspace one can ever ask for especially when you’re living alone. With just a laptop, portable mouse and foldable table desk, I can immediately dive into my emails within seconds from the final snooze of my alarm, while still dressed in pyjamas and wrapped in a blanket. As I begin typing away on the keyboard, soft acoustic tunes start playing and fill the room with a sense of warmth, a striking contrast to the hustle and bustle of the office. The room I’m in may be limited in terms of size, but it is pleasant and comfortable enough for jobs to be completed.

Any challenges?

With no colleagues or superiors nearby, it is easy to be distracted and tempted by the electronic gadgets lying around. Social media remains one of the biggest diversions from tasks at hand and the fact that fellow peers are also working from a home-office environment also contributes to spending more time engaging in friendly conversations instead of work-related duties. Another challenge involves the lengthy delays between discussions via e-mail, compared to face-to-face meetings in which swift decisions can be made, with lower chances of miscommunication.

What could be improved from you and your employer’s perspectives?

For essential decision-making, phone calls can be used to replace the tedious back-and-forth emails. The employer can also set more reasonable deadlines and have good faith the employees would finish the necessary tasks rather than checking in way too frequently or forcing a daily summary upon the staff.

Click to view more working from home tips 

This story first appeared in the pullout on March 20, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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