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Working from Home in Southeast Asia: A Mixed Blessing

Working from Home in Southeast Asia: A Mixed Blessing

Rina, not the Doraemon one, checked her email for the third time that morning. She had been working from home since March 2023, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced most businesses in Malaysia to close their physical premises and switch to online operations.

Rina was one of the lucky ones who could keep her job as a digital marketing executive for a local company. She enjoyed the flexibility and convenience of working from home, but she also missed the social interaction and collaboration with her colleagues.

She sighed and opened a new tab on her browser. She typed in “work from home Southeast Asia” and clicked on the first link that appeared. It was a website that listed remote jobs across the region. She scrolled through the various opportunities, ranging from business development specialists to search evaluators. She wondered if she should apply for any of them, or if she should stick with her current employer.

Benefits of Working from Home

She had heard that some countries in Southeast Asia were more conducive for remote workers than others. She had read an article about how Singapore had invested heavily in digital infrastructure and offered incentives for foreign talent to work remotely from there.

She had also seen photos of her friends who had moved to Bali or Chiang Mai, enjoying the tropical weather and cheap living costs while working from their laptops at co-working spaces or cafes.

She felt a pang of envy and curiosity. She wanted to experience working from different places and cultures, but she also worried about the risks and challenges involved. She knew that not all countries in Southeast Asia had reliable internet access or stable political situations. She also wondered how working from home would affect her career prospects and personal relationships.

Mixed Blessing

She closed the tab and decided to focus on her current tasks. She had a deadline to meet by noon, and she didn’t want to disappoint her boss or clients. She told herself that working from home was a mixed blessing; it had its advantages and disadvantages, but it was better than losing her job or getting infected by Covid-19.

She opened her email again and replied to an urgent message. She hoped that one day, she would be able to travel freely again and explore other options for remote work. But for now, she was grateful for what she had.

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