Two years in to the global pandemic and remote work – be that working from home or merely in an office hundreds of miles from HQ – is undoubtedly the new norm. Cities go from a return normal, restaurants and streets bustling with life, to a surge in COVID-19 cases bringing the same buzzing metropolis to an instantaneous lockdown halt. If there’s one thing we’ve learned through this pandemic, it’s that life is constantly in flux.
We picked a random Wednesday to check in with several of our team members across China to see what a day-in-the-life currently looks like for each of them. Here’s what they were up to:
Director, Leisure Department
“At the time of writing (9:20 am), I will be meeting with the team virtually in 30 minutes. It is a weekly meeting with the team. I have my favorite background music on, and my dark tea aside my “home office” table.
My son is doing homeschooling in his bedroom as his teacher is doing home quarantine. With 2-year+ COVID-19, he is very tech-savvy for his age and knows how to join a virtual class from school, and he is also assisting his teacher play PPT yesterday. For lunch, I will make fried rice for me and Wuhan noodles, a dish from my hometown, for my son. After school hours, and office hours, we go downstairs to play badminton or play with neighborhood children if we happen to run into some.
This evening, I am visiting a client at the Swedish embassy for an Easter Holiday holy event. A Priest may wash my feet as part of the ritual!”
Haena Seongsin Kim
Director, Education Department
“I woke up, checked my messages, got dressed, brushed my teeth, washed my face, made coffee, logged on to work from home. I’ve been doing online work out sessions for friends every evening after work.
This week it was Coredio, Endurance, HIIT, strength, rest day. I’m trying to figure out what else to do for the other two days, as usually I play football three times a week and also run a 10k every week, but right now we are in lockdown. I have considered trying to jump rope for an hour, but feel like that’s way more boring than a run. Apparently there are a lot of dance workouts on YouTube, so I might try those.
So, after work it’s workout, cook, eat, shower, then talk to friends online, complain about lockdown, play video games, then go to sleep. Repeat.”
“Today I took an hour motorcycle ride into Banqiao She minority town (板桥畲族乡). The local people there are now preparing for their traditional festival (三月三) but because of covid, they need to do the show online this year.
While I was there, unexpectedly, I ran into a friend of mine who works as a butler at a guesthouse in another town, he was invited to the festival because he belongs to the She minority himself.
In the evening, he and three other teachers sang She songs together.”
“In the morning, I took the subway to the office for work. Chengdu’s covid situation is currently okay, everything is normal here. Mariana and I are working in the office every day.
Today we had our weekly Chengdu office meeting in the morning then I had my lunch in a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon we had some more virtual meetings.”
“This morning I ate an Ovaltine cake for breakfast and prepared a cup of coffee before I started working from home. My mother made meatball noodles for lunch (they were really good). After work, one of my friends and I went out for some fresh air. We saw a new snack bar in the street and decided to give it a try (it turned out to be only so-so).
At the end of the day we took a walk in the nearby public square and saw some aiyis [elderly Chinese women] dancing. The way they danced was so neat and interesting. As we continued through the square we saw more and more people dancing doing all different kinds of dances, for example, there was a ballroom dance happening in another corner. There were also some people playing basketball, table tennis and skateboarding in the square.
The locals (like me) like to come to this square to enjoy some relaxing moments after dinner.”