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The Expat Insurance Team – Working From Home – Part Three

The Expat Insurance Singapore team have been sharing the perks and the not so perky aspects of working from home. Just like everyone else, they have been doing what they can from home. If you have any questions about your expat health cover at this time, please do not hesitate to contact any one of our team. It’s still business as usual (ish).

As we head into our final month of the Circuit Breaker, we will share the last installment of the Expat Insurance Singapore team’s experiences in working from home. Enjoy!

Sharon – Private Client Advisor

We are family of 5 with 3 kids and 2 full time working parents and the transition to staying at home has been surprisingly good! This is partly because 2 of them are a little older (10 and 12) and are doing e-learning at school with minimal support. Most importantly, it keeps them busy! We also have a helper who attends to our 4yr old, which is an absolute lifesaver.

We are about halfway through Circuit Breaker period and so far, our family have been coping well. However, I am not sure what 2-3 months would look like as it can feel like Groundhog Day at times. It has been good to be at home an hour earlier after finishing work. This has made my evenings longer and I have discovered some brilliant Netflix shows such as The Stranger, Safe and The Morning Show. One of the downsides is that it can be hard to get away from work seeing as I am now looking at my laptop constantly!

We are a very sociable family, so we are missing not being able to see our friends and family. Regular Zoom calls have made a huge difference. We have also missed a few special birthday celebrations. That is a bit sad. One of my biggest worries is for our family who is far away and that we wouldn’t be able to leave Singapore if we needed to. I am also missing my commute to work as it was ‘downtime’ for me… and catching up with colleagues in the kitchen!

I am very grateful we made the decision to move from a condo to a landed house last year as we have plenty of space as well as a garden – which has seen a spike in the number of BBQs recently! We also invested in a decent splash pool as soon as it was announced that more stringent measures were being put in place. So that’s paying off!

My daughter has been able to continue her guitar and Taekwondo lessons via Skype and Zoom which has been really good for continuity and I have been lucky enough to keep up with my HIIT classes via Zoom too. Otherwise, I go running or cycling outdoors. My sports-mad son has been the most affected and he is really missing his rugby and athletics training. He does do a couple of runs outdoors each week to try and maintain his fitness.

We have already planned a reunion party with our friends in Singapore for when this is all over! We’ve got this!

Andreas – Employee Benefits Services Manager

For someone who has been through SARS and now COVID-19 right here in Singapore, I can see a stark difference in how our government, schools and companies are dealing with the situation now compared to the past. We are better prepared now, with the government being ready for just this type of situation and rolling it out progressively instead of having an immediate lockdown.

I’m blessed to have a room to myself and I set up shop right here in my bedroom. My family knows not to disturb me during my “office” hours. However, the silence is deafening so I listen to the radio using my phone. A lot of people find it hard to separate work and personal time when working from home so I made a plan to start work at 8am sharp daily and to end work at 5pm sharp (unless there is an urgent case to handle), and practice yoga from YouTube right after work ends.

The perks are that I save on travel time and I get another 2 hours of rest. I do miss the social interaction outside the home – the little chit-chat in the lift with my neighbors, the wind blowing in my face while waiting for the bus, the girly talks with my female colleagues (and sometimes with my male colleagues who crashed our girl talk!)

Staying at home for more than a month now is not easy as we are social animals after all. But I’m counting my blessings every day that my friends and family are safe. Daily video chats with my sister and niece, WhatsApp conversation with my friends, knitting and binge-watching dramas on Netflix keeping me sane and grateful that I have the good health to experience the pandemic in this way. Appreciate the simple blessings in life!

Aline – Key Account Manager

The Lockdown felt surreal at the beginning but after a week, I started to accept the uncertainties and go with the flow.

I’m trying to stick to a ‘kid-friendly’ workable routine although my kids are not always cooperative! I set up my little office in my daughter’s bedroom and I lock myself in there during working hours. It feels almost like an office… although I AM surrounded by toys. As long as I don’t start to talk to them, I think my sanity will remain intact!

I am trying to do some physical exercise, like stretches and I’ve been trying to eat healthier. I do have relapses when I need my sugar rush and my room has dangerous proximity to my kitchen!

Mentally, I try to avoid checking too much media about the COVID-19 and prioritise quality time with my family. Focusing on simple life details definitely helps me to remain positive. In a way, the Circuit Breaker forced me to re-evaluate my priorities in life and appreciate the present moment… that is to say until I have a T-rex moment like when I’m on a call and my kids decide to have a tantrum.

Being a mother of 2 and juggling work and homeschool can be pretty hectic so I won’t say I’m loving it, but I don’t hate it either. I’m in my acceptance phase now. I really miss my social life and going to the office and after-work drinks!

I would like to share this saying form Hellen Keller that I feel sums up my experience so far: ‘So much has been given to me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied.’

We hope that you have enjoyed hearing from our team, we are all in this together. Please drop us a line if you have any questions about anything and stay safe!