The New Normal: Stephanne Foong

What is your WFH routine like?

“I usually wake to prepare breakfast to start off the day for myself and my spouse.

“I work on my computer when necessary, as most of my work is project-based; naturally some of my work has been postponed during the movement control order (MCO). It also means I have more time to myself during the MCO period.”

How does it differ from working in the office?

“[I am] more dependent on technology, especially for communication. Time is more flexible, and one must be disciplined.”

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

“Yes, we (my husband, business partner and boss) both have our own workspace. We actually designed the workspace when we renovated the home. It’s not exactly an office (we didn’t want it so formal, but relaxed and tasteful) but a comfortable and nicely-designed work space. As business owners, WFH is inevitable. We do not want to encourage ourselves to work non-stop or to become workaholics). Thus, we designed a workspace according to our own preference and comfort, personality and functionality.”

Does it give you a better work-life balance?

“I’ve always had good work-life balance. Honestly it doesn’t change much for me, as I always work closely with my spouse. The only apparent change is we both were stuck at home during the MCO, before the CMCO.

“Although I am quite used to WFH, the initial two phases of MCO still needed [getting used] to.”

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

“I would say the MCO made me pick up new hobbies, forced me to learn new things and have extra time to try new recipes.

“I picked up hair cutting, as my hubby needed to have his hair cut. So it’s a forced-by-circumstance kind of hobby. Once I had my hands on his hair, it was kind of addictive.

“I explored new recipes, as during the initial two phases of MCO, not all kinds of food were available for delivery. Cooking and food plating have always been my passion. I am amazed that some stuff like boba tea, some restaurant menu interpretations, and some Thai dishes, are really quite easy to make at home, but I may not have taken the trouble to learn them if not for the MCO.”

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

“If there is a need for it, sure. Perhaps not all staff, but relevant staff or departments. For example, it may not be possible for operational staff, fixologist mechanics or despatch to WFH. We have always practised WFH with our Gen Z staff. As for myself, I did WFH way before the MCO.”

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