Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many have been asked to stay home in order to practice social distancing and working from home has become a necessity. At this moment, there is a high chance that you are reading this article while at home with your loved ones not too far from you. Perhaps you are working from a study room, the dining room or you might even have turned the balcony into your new working space.
At UOB Asset Management (UOBAM), our Group and country CEOs have respectively shared their tips with us on how to adapt to a new working environment while maintaining productivity and we would like to share them with you.
Thio Boon Kiat
Group Chief Executive Officer, UOBAM
"Our clients and investors need us more than ever during this challenging time and we will step up to do even more to justify their trust in us. My three main priorities during this period of remote working are to maintain productivity, to ensure effectiveness and to promote engagement. One of the ways the team continues to connect and to collaborate is through video meetings. We believe that regular engagement is key to ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of our clients. Most importantly, we continue to keep our spirits high and our teamwork strong. "This pandemic will not last forever, but the trust and camaraderie that we forge during these testing times most certainly will. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay united."
General Manager, UOBAM (Brunei)
"It is important to start my day with the right mindset. I wake up early in the morning and list out what I want to achieve. When I am at home, my mind subconsciously switches to a more relaxed mode. Hence, I have to consciously switch my mind to ‘work’ mode by making a few minor adjustments. For example, I have cleaned and reorganised my furniture to create a comfortable workspace that helps me focus. Try to carve out your own space within your home where you can work and have your morning coffee. You will find that amid all the chaos, this can help you re-focus and get re-charged for the day ahead."
Chief Executive Officer and Representing Director, UOBAM (Japan)
"I believe to work from home effectively, it is imperative to maintain the same schedule as per normal work in office. This includes sticking to the same wake-up time, lunch hour and bedtime. In place of face-to-face interactions, I would video call my team at least twice a day to discuss matters of common concern and get updates on status of ongoing tasks. Communication is key to teamwork."
Lim Suet Ling
Chief Executive Officer, UOBAM (Malaysia)
"I believe it is crucial to be disciplined when working remotely, thus I have been committing to my usual morning routine which kick-starts my day best. Despite working from home, I still get up at the same time I would on normal working days. Then, I do 15 minutes of yoga for better blood circulation before taking a quick shower to freshen up before breakfast. For lunch, I usually cook a simple meal but occasionally I would order a favourite dish of mine. This pandemic has led to many unexpected and even stressful changes with the need for us to make quick adjustments. However, do not forget that this will come to pass and in the meantime, try to think of the simple joys in life such as eating your favourite dish. It can help you brighten your day."
Suhazi Reza Bin Selamat
Chief Executive Officer, UOB Islamic Asset Management
"It is easy to be distracted while working from home. As leaders, we need to lead by example to stress on the importance of discipline and maintaining work routines. In place of face-to-face meetings, I would do video conferences with my team in the morning to follow up on outstanding matters and to discuss upcoming activities.
A general rule of thumb is to always be prepared and not be late as people are waiting. Set your devices up early and ensure that you have back-ups as hiccups are inevitable. I would usually standby my office laptop, tablet and mobile phone so that I can switch around in the event that one of them cannot function."
Chief Executive Officer, UOBAM (Taiwan)
"To meet our clients' needs, we must first have a safe working environment as we adapt and respond in these unprecedented times. A useful tip for working from home is to have a right mindset of following a daily routine such as getting dressed every morning to effectively mark the start of your day. If possible, you should also have a defined workspace, where you are clear of distractions to keep up with your momentum at work. Communication is key – always ensure continued dialogue with colleagues and clients. Above all is your health and safety."
Chief Executive Officer, UOBAM (Thailand)
"Working from home can be just as productive as working in the office. A simple mental trick that helps me work effectively is to create a similar working environment at home. For a start, I have set up a dedicated working space, free of distractions to help wire up my brain for enhanced productivity. I also dress up a little to put myself in working mode and funnily enough, a good hairdo works well in setting the mood right too. Next, I conduct meetings via Teams or Line to stay in touch with my team and to check in on current work matters. Working from home effectively enables me to be both productive and to spend more time with my loved ones. It also helps the world to be a little cleaner and greener and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this time."
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