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A Day in the Life of a Busy Mom Enjoying the Perks of Remote Work: Meet Lydia

Without the diverse, hardworking, intelligent, and kind people who make up our team, Shield wouldn’t be able to offer the level of service we do. At Shield, we love our team and know that our unique perspectives and backgrounds make us stronger while our common values connect us. That’s why each month, we love sharing our team’s stories through our A Day in the Life series, where we hope you can get to know our team a little better.

This month, we’re profiling Lydia Cheung, who is an Accountant on our Finance Team. Lydia is based in Singapore. 

Meet Lydia

Lydia joined Shield in December 2019 after searching for remote roles to gain flexibility and autonomy in her work life. 

“I didn’t like the feeling of getting stuck in an office cubicle permanently. So I thought it would be really cool to get to work anywhere I want,” she says. 

Travel had become very important to her after a study trip to China during university. 

“It was quite eye-opening for me. I would love to go to China again one day,” she says. 

Lydia’s family 🙂

 So, when she found Shield GEO, Lydia says, “it was really like a godsend.”

Before travel restrictions set in, Lydia utilized this newfound flexibility to work and travel simultaneously, heading to Abu Dhabi in UAE with her husband twice. 

“I’m super thankful to Shield for making my dream come true. I really like this way of being able to work anywhere,” she says. “I think that Tim and Duncan were really forward-thinking in coming up with this culture of working.”

When travel permits, Lydia hopes to visit her extended relatives in Hong Kong and travel to Canada to get some belated wedding photos amongst the mountain scenery. 

But it’s not just the travel aspect of a flexible work policy that Lydia loves. Family time is also extremely important to her and working from home means that she can balance her work with caring for her son, Elias.

“You get to spend more time with people that matter,” she says. “You get to translate that traveling [commute] time into spending time with them.”

My current workspace’s theme is pretty pink

It also means she’s available whenever her son needs her. 

“My son just started at school recently. I really like the fact that if something happens and the teacher needs to call me, I’m readily available and can pick him up from school.” 

Lydia felt similarly before Elias started school and would spend his days at her mother in law’s home. 

“Before he started school, my mother in law would take care of him. She [lives] just right below me, downstairs from my apartment,” she says. 

“Because you know, even though it’s remote, I can’t really take care of him [during work hours]. But I really like the fact that I’m readily available for him if she requires me to attend to him. I can always go down.”

It also means Lydia can enjoy her mother in law’s cooking. 

“She really enjoys cooking for people. So every time she cooks, I get a lot of great home-cooked food for myself,” she says. 

“Otherwise, I will make a mess of the kitchen. So I usually eat her food, [or rely on] delivery apps.” 

But she is learning! 

“I’ve signed up for some classes. But I still think that I’m not very efficient,” she admits. “I think the whole point of learning to cook is to be efficient so that you don’t waste food resources. You don’t waste time. I’m still [learning] at the moment.”

A Day in the Life of Lydia

Before work hours

Start the day, prep and send Elias to school.

Head for spin class or have a hearty breakfast with hubby. Recently it has been the crispy prata, KFC or McDonald’s near my house.

Work hours

Start work with checking email, any important tags, or notifications to take note of. Prioritize important ones (on payments/invoices/issues etc).

Continue with work & feeding the cat occasionally in between.

For lunch, I usually order via food delivery apps. My mother in law also passes me delicious home-cooked dishes whenever she cooks in bulk for other people (Perks of living near a home cook). I also head over to hot-desk at my husband’s office during this time whenever covid-19 restrictions permit, and I crave human interaction.

After lunch, I normally continue work with a cup of coffee on hand. From 14th to 21st of the month, afternoons are mostly spent on making payments to vendors and local partners.

Work & after hours

Hubby picks me up so we can pick up Elias together from school.

I usually allocate one hour in the evenings to check on payments or work on pending urgent tasks/invoices. Otherwise, I shut off the computer.

After hours are usually spent on other part-time tasks that I am working on or attending to.  Otherwise, it’s time for family dinners, movie nights and gatherings (while adhering to covid rules)! 😊

 

Creating a schedule that works for you

Morning workout at the spin class studio

Lydia loves staying active and will try to fit in a spin class before work each morning.

“I love spinning. I’ve taken almost like 40 classes,” she says. “The classes are 50 minutes long (feels like forever, though!) But what really motivates me is the music. It keeps you going.”

On top of this, she’s currently learning to drive and will often switch up her hours to fit in a lesson. 

“I’m able to attend the classes in the afternoon, instead of at night. And all I needed to do was to work early and let [my colleagues] know,” she says. “I’m really thankful to have supportive colleagues in Finance.”

It helps that Finance tasks are a mix of independent work and collaboration. 

“The team is quite communicative [during the invoicing cycles and payments]. Otherwise, it’s really quite independent,” Lydia says. 

“I think I like working independently and also in a team. I really like these components together, and my position at Shield provides a good balance of that.”

While this lifestyle affords a lot of freedom, Lydia admits she sometimes feels lonely working from home. 

“I’m the only one in Singapore in Shield Finance,” she says. “But whenever I crave human interaction, I will go to my husband’s office [to work].”

Shifting up her location helps, and she loves the chance to chat with people in person. 

Day out to the East Coast Park, Singapore

But ultimately, Lydia says, she wouldn’t give up working from home. 

“As you can see, my workspace is very pink at the moment. I don’t think I can do that if I were to be in the office,” she says. 

“It makes me really happy!”

— Bree Caggiati

 

Read more about our team and how we enjoy working remotely!

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