Due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Singapore has tightened social interactions and gone back to the default state of working from home under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
Working from home has once again become the norm, as employees who are able to work from home are required to do so. It has thus become important for Singaporeans to create a comfortable space to promote productivity when working from home.
However, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home was virtually unheard of in Singapore and curating the right items for a home office might pose as a challenge for some.
We went ahead to ask seven local startup founders on what are their favourite work-from-home products and personal tips on how we can elevate our own workspaces.
Trixie Khong, founder of By Invite Only
Trixie Khong, founder of jewellery brand By Invite Only, has tailored her work-from-home setup to focus on comfort and health.
She told Vulcan Post that she herniated her neck last year due to overworking, and spent two to three weeks in excruciating pain. “That was when I realised that I cannot take my health for granted and posture is really important,” she said.
This is why her work-from-home setup revolves around good posture, to ensure that she does not compromise her health. For her, an essential product in her workspace is a good laptop stand.
The entrepreneur ensures that her laptop stand is foldable, so she can also bring it out to work at a cafe, or even at the pantry in her office.
Another essential product that she recommends is a good screen that gives you great HD details and comfort for the eyes. A plus point is a built-in camera, so users do not have to revert to their laptops for Zoom meetings at home.
To create a productive and zen environment, she also has a diffuser and essential oil at her desk. Her perfect workspace is then topped off with a good Lo-Fi playlist.
Having an ergonomic desktop setup is all the more important now that WFH is becoming a norm. Altizen’s Standing Desk Converter allows you to have an optimal viewing experience, minimising screen glare from your laptop:
Jane Peh, co-founder of The Woof Agency
Founded in 2018, The Woof Agency is a social media agency that specialises in pet influencer marketing. It handles the end-to-end management of entire influencer marketing campaigns, from talent contracting to post-campaign reporting.
Co-founder Jane Peh shared that she is a coffee lover who needs her daily caffeine fix before she starts work.
Getting a cup of coffee might have been a part of her morning routine, but now that the need to travel has been eliminated, it might be difficult to grab that energy booster.
As such, Jane and her husband have invested in a Nespresso machine to make working from home more enjoyable.
If you are looking for some good coffee to kickstart your day, you can check out Foreword Coffee Roaster’s Executive Brew Bundle, which is exclusively available on VP Label:
Gerald Tan, co-founder of Yummy Bros
Yummy Bros focuses on reinventing Asian dishes by making them healthier, customisable and providing more transparency on their nutritional values while retaining their delicious flavours.
Gerald Tan, co-founder of Yummy Bros told Vulcan Post that since he is unable to hit the gym amid the pandemic, he turns to Yummy Bros’ meal prep plans to keep his calories in check and maintain his physique.
Gerald and his co-founder Anson Lim have have come up with a menu that includes hot sellers like Yummy Satay Chicken, Yummy Mala Chicken, Spicy Chicken Lemak, Yummy Curry Chicken, Yummy Thai Fish, Yummy Kung Pow and Yummy Kopi Chicken.
Another essential WFH product for him is his Secretlab Titan Dark Knight Chair, which is gifted from Anson.
Having an active lifestyle works hand-in-hand with a healthy diet to keep you going at your best daily. Hydragun’s percussive massage device keeps you on track by making recoveries fast and easy:
Preston Wong, co-founder of Treatsure
Treatsure is described by co-founder Preston Wong as “Singapore’s first food-saving app” with a mission to get consumers to “treat food as treasure”.
It helps businesses to tackle food wastage using tech solutions, and offers consumers a new channel to discover unique food at great value while doing good to reduce waste, he added.
Preston told Vulcan Post that while working from home, he finds that doing takeaways from nearby coffee shops and hawker centres is a good way to unwind from a prolonged period of work. It is also a good way to support hawkers during this difficult time.
At the same time, he wishes to ensure that he does so in a sustainable way. Hence, some products that are useful to him while working from home include a reusable container from Daiso, bamboo cutleries from Bamboo Straw Girl, and a reusable cup from Unpackt.
Everyone is guilty of snacking while working from home. To keep his snacking sustainable, Preston uses an up-cycled coconut bowl from The Sustainability Project.
Darius Cheung, co-founder of 99.co
99.co is one of the largest property portals in the region, and it is co-founded by Darius Cheung. 99 Group also operates several Southeast Asian property platform brands and is the region’s fastest growing property platform.
In November last year, the Group acquired Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), a strategic move that positioned it to become the market leader in Singapore in the medium term.
Since remote meetings with employees are especially important to ensure strong communication when working from home, Darius uses the noise-cancelling Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which offers high-quality audio.
Other products that complete his workspace include a Prism+ x290 widescreen curved monitor, and the Baseus Magnetic Lamp that provides better lighting for calls. It is also battery-powered and portable, which allows it to function as a torch and night reading light as well.
To complete the work-from-home experience for Darius is his Cornell Air Fryer, which enables him to quickly and conveniently whip up relatively healthy snacks.
Having good acoustics is essential to any setup, whether for leisure or for WFH. The Enigma Bluetooth Speaker from Soundkraft marries artisan craftmanship with the best in technology to give you a complete audio experience.
Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love, Bonito
Love, Bonito started off as a blogshop in 2005, and has since grown into a multi-million dollar fashion powerhouse.
In a separate interview with Vulcan Post, co-founder Rachel Lim shared that their focus was to build a brand that “creates accessible fashion for the regular Asian women.
Due to the rise of work-from-home, Love, Bonito has seen an increased demand for more casual outfits so customers can still look stylish while keeping comfortable. It has also released a new loungewear line to complement new flexible working arrangements.
It is not surprising that one of Rachel’s go-to products is her Love, Bonito loungewear set. She told Vulcan Post that it is made of 100 per cent rayon, which is extremely breathable, and helps her to get through her days when working from home.
Another product that she heavily uses is the Skin Inc Glow Filter Serum. It is the world’s first skincare make-up that not only hydrates the skin, but also evens out the skin tone, keep the shine at bay and gives the skin a dewy effect, which is perfect for Zoom meetings. With it, you can easily look presentable without slapping on multiple makeup products.
Daphne Ting, co-founder of Siege Advanced Manufacturing
Siege Advanced Manufacturing is a 3D printing firm which is said to have the largest 3D printing capacity in Singapore, with 50 3D printers at their Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park facility.
Last year, countries and hospitals worldwide were facing shortages of PPE to protect themselves while treating Covid-19 patients. Basic items such as surgical masks and protection gowns were also scarce.
Loh Chi Jie and Daphne Ting, co-founders of Siege Advanced Manufacturing, decided to take it upon themselves to do something about it, since they had the printing capacity to help. They then reactivated their manufacturing lines to produce face shields.
Now that Daphne is working from home, she does not have access to her 3D printing facility, which means that she cannot do much of her work.
Hence, she got a small 3D printer from a local seller ZweeDee3D, which allows her to have access to a 3D printer at home. With the printer, she can produce 3D prints for clients anytime from the comfort of her home.
Many Singaporeans are now into planting since they are spending more time at home, and Daphne is no exception. She told Vulcan Post that she began growing plants hydroponically with a hydroponics system from Yashponics, and has even harvested a few batches for her meals.
Simple ways to make working from home more enjoyable
Many of us might not be completely used to working from home yet, and our home offices might not be fully optimised for an efficient and productive experience.
After all, there are more distractions, less accountability, and less communication at home than when working in the office.
However, that does not mean that working from home will lead to lower productivity. In fact, these startup founders have shown that it is possible to create a conducive experience with affordable products.
Furthermore, trivial things such as the food we eat each day, or the containers we use to takeaway food, might be overlooked, but also play an essential role in our work-from-home experience.
Looking for a tasty treat to cure those snack cravings while working from home? Look no further than The Kettle Gourmet’s ever popular locally-inspired flavoured popcorn:
Featured Image Credit: By Invite Only / Global Perspectives / Yummy Bros / Ladyboss Asia / Singapore Urban Design Festival / High Net Worth