As the father of a six-month-old daughter, Edward Tan finds it difficult adapting to working from home (WFH) because of COVID-19. “I still need to accomplish my work within a certain timeframe while distracted by a crying baby,” he shares. He also feels guilty for having “no time to play with her”.
Edward is working on split teams’ arrangement, where some colleagues would work from the office while he and a few others work from home to minimise interaction. His scope of work includes managing doctors’ resources and templates. This workload has increased tremendously since WFH began in mid-April. “During COVID-19, almost every day ends at 10.30pm; sometimes I need to start as early as 7.30am,” he reveals. He is on the clock even on weekends. “We pull those extra hours because we want to get things done quickly, and ensure that patients are informed of their rescheduled appointments ahead of time.”
And there is plenty that needs getting done. “A significant number of patients was affected by COVID-19 transmission-prevention measures,” explains Edward, who has been with SNEC for more than two years. These measures include the temporary closure of clinics, and our team of doctors, nurses and allied health staff being deployed on the COVID-19 frontlines. Affected patients have to be contacted — usually via SMS or phone calls — in batches. Understandably, most of the feedback he and his team receive during this period are regarding the deferring of appointments. “We are working flat out to manage all requests,” he assures, and advises patients who need urgent attention to visit the SNEC Acute Care Clinic during clinic hours.
While WFH, Edward and his teammates continue to monitor their temperature twice daily and check for respiratory symptoms to ensure their well-being. Each day, they will send messages via WhatsApp to encourage and motivate each other. And teammates who have to report for work at SNEC are not forgotten. “Sometimes, I will order food and drinks to be delivered to those working at SNEC @ SGH Campus,” he adds.
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