With the outbreak of coronavirus in Hong Kong, many are forced to work from home. Companies are required to provide all the flexibility and mobility for their employees to able to bring their work home and stay out of the office to avoid any hazard on further spreading the virus.
Nowadays we are experiencing so much unknown that requires working from home a necessity. Since mid 2019, a series of social unrest protests interrupted Hong Kong citizens going to their workplaces, followed by this recent threat of coronavirus spreading from East to West. Anything from unexpected social unrest protests to extreme weather condition would make Hong Kong businesses facing the reality to provide mobility and flexibility for the workforce to work wherever and whenever.
In May 2019, we hosted Future Work in Hong Kong as Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs where we explored the workplace family policies. In this inaugural flagship event for our start up organization, the responses were overwhelmed with over 80 participants from all different sectors to have more bottom up roundtable discussions after the panel discussion from scholars and practitioners sharing from top down view.
A number of women organizations, led by The Hong Kong Association of Business and Professional Women, are also taking action to voice out to the HKSAR government to take initiatives to provide more supports for women and men to have the flexibility to stay home to look after the children during this period when they are out of school for over a month. In the letter, BPWHK suggests the government should proceed with:-
- An announcement of a work-from-home extension for the Government employees till 2nd March 2020;
- An announcement of urging private sectors (including SMEs) to provide family-friendly working arrangements that allow employees to have flexible working hours to fulfil home caretakers’ duties under extreme conditions; and
- An announcement of regulating private sectors to apply long-term family-friendly working policies under any extreme conditions to both male and female employees to advocate equal share of home caretakers’ duties.
In times like this, it may be challenging for many of us and organizations but it is also important for all of us to take this idle time to gear ourselves up and be resilient. We have undergone more than one epidemics in history and only those who remain calm and prepare themselves will stay.
When everyone is forced to work from home now, take this chance to spend more time with your family, allow your own children to observe what you do and enjoy more family dinner together at home. It may not be such a bad thing after all to have an outbreak of virus if it brings all of us to spend more time at the dinning table together.
Something about the author:
A marketer, an entrepreneur, an advocate and a mother, Lena has a strong calling to push forward workplace diversity and flexibility. She believes there should be no boundary to how works should be done. She was a finance professional who left behind her decent livings and devoted herself to the family when her first daughter was born. She has eventually landed herself in her own marketing consultancy for small enterprises and also dedicated herself in founding Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs – a non profit organization in Hong Kong supporting moms and families in their entrepreneurial journey. Lena also appreciates the impacts from social innovations and further pursues her works in promoting UNSDGs.
In her leisure time, Lena enjoys sipping a glass of wine or coffee with friends and she contributes herself as Advisor and Trainer at Junior Chamber International and as Program Chair in HK Association of Business and Professional Women.