Working from home poses its own challenges

Yasmin and her daughters wash the car as a way to spend quality time together during the MCO.

THE past two weeks have been trying for many since the movement control order (MCO) took effect.

This is especially so for those who have to juggle family duties while working from home.

Sustainability professional Yasmin Rasyid, 44, who has been working from home for the past 10 days, tells StarMetro that she has to switch between roles frequently.

“It has been quite dramatic and emotional. Emotional because as a very involved mum at home, my focus is on the children and family.

“So while I am physically at home, I am on work mode. It is hard to separate the two roles, especially when the family reaches out to you.

“For my company, I am still at work. For my family, the concept of ‘work from home’ means more like I am accessible to them freely for ‘mummy duties’, ” she said.

“I find myself having to stay more zen to be able to switch hats from one role to another on demand, ” she added.

Yasmin, who is from Petaling Jaya, also said that she found herself working until later at night as she had to compensate for family needs during the day.

The family has been catching up on quality time over movies and cooking meals together, she said.

“We get creative with whatever we have in the fridge to make delicious meals. My eldest has been making pancakes, brownies and dalgona coffee, ” she said, adding that the family started a 100-sit-up-a-day programme this week.

Yasmin also said that they were all kept on their toes taking care of her father-in-law, who has slight dementia and is disabled.

Working from home, however, is not alien to public relations practitioner Nazreen Tajul Arif, 40, as she has been doing so for about two years since her daughter was born.

The only difference now, with the MCO, is that Nazreen cannot go out to meet clients nor exercise outdoors.

“All meetings are done via phone now, ” she said.

As a fitness buff, she enjoys going hiking with her family, including her 20-month-old daughter whom she pushes in a stroller.

“I now run on the treadmill for about 30 to 45 minutes when she is asleep.

“In the evenings, she tends to follow me when I do strength training. At times she will be my 11kg dumbbell, ” added Nazreen, who hails from Seremban.

Fitness buff Tan Chee Kun said regular gym-goers had a hard time during the MCO, but it was still possible to continue with their respective exercise regime at home.

“Exercise is part of life. I feel like I am losing muscle if I don’t exercise. And when you lose muscle, you gain fat easier, ” said Tan who started self-quarantine on March 12.

“I am in the public relations line, so I can work from home.

“My life is still quite packed, at times even working until 9pm, but I still squeeze in some time for exercise, ” he said.

He follows online fitness tutorials to keep up his exercise routine.

“I have a dumbbell at home. For those who don’t, just use a 1.5litre water bottle and you can work on your biceps, pecs, and triceps.

”The Puchong resident stressed that proper gym wear was still needed, especially to protect the feet. Aside from work and exercise, Tan has been catching up on reading and watching tv shows.

“Working from home also means we don’t get stuck in traffic jams, ” he added.

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