Seeing Work and Life Through New Eyes

The past year has not only changed the way we live, but how we see life. Public officers reflect on how COVID-19 has transformed the way they approach their work and lives.

Public service officers recount how working from home has changed their lives

Winning Entry

No more worries about my morning commute,

More time to think about my online shopping loot.

I fear my bosses will forget my face,

But I work hard, so that my work bears fruit.

In conference calls, my profile is on mute.

My colleagues as well – we’re in cahoots.

Yet when the work comes, it is always done.

For Singapore we serve, excellence is our pursuit.

Tan Chin Hong, MSF

Thank you for sharing your poem, Chin Hong! You get Klook vouchers worth $100 to reward yourself with for your hard work.


Other Winning Entries 

This pandemic has made me reflect on my life choices.

If not for the pandemic, I would be in the aviation industry now because that is what I’ve been studying. This pandemic, however, made me take a step back to figure out whether aviation is an industry that I want to be in, or whether I’m just going with the flow because I’m used to it.

Sometimes, we need to understand that it’s fine to take a break and reflect on whether we are content with what we have.

Tan Si Hui, MPA


As I reflect over the past year, I realised that I have been taking many things and people for granted.

At the workplace, for example, communication with colleagues is so much easier and more frequent. Whenever I need clarification, I can easily pop over to another cubicle to ask my colleague. In this pandemic, I’ve needed to change my way of engagement. I cannot take for granted that my colleagues will understand me when I talk to them virtually, such as through Skype and WhatsApp. I need to be patient and communicate as clearly as possible, and re-share information if required.

I am also learning to better appreciate my wife, kids and parents. My loved ones will not be around forever. This pandemic gives me more time to stay home, and while there can be friction at times, I am learning to forgive and forget, not hold things against them and not take things too seriously. This is still a work in progress. Give thanks and be grateful!

Alvin Lim, GovTech


COVID-19 is a lesson in changing mindsets and perspectives. I used to think teaching was only possible within the four walls of a classroom, but perhaps home-based learning can be just as effective with educational technology tools. Similarly, what used to be the norm, showing up with your best face at work, no longer applies as we hide behind our computer screens during Zoom meetings.

But am I less efficient as a result? I don’t think so. On the contrary, I now spend less time on non-essential activities and still get the job done. I used to wake up, go to work, then go home, but I can now fit more tasks in a day. The time I save from the daily commute is put to good use – I send my kids to school, exercise, and sometimes end the day with a home-cooked dinner.

I do not think we can go back to pre-COVID days, nor should we do that. If there is one good thing to come out from this pandemic, it has to be that it is possible to achieve work-life harmony. It is a win-win situation for both employees and employers.

Leong Phei Phei, RP

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Because of work from home, I have found new ways to connect with my team, as well as creative ways to demonstrate the importance of work-life thriving. My team and I have a weekly Zoom session where we incorporate simple games and 1-on-1 sharing to facilitate caring for each other beyond the work projects and deliverables. These sessions helped me to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their day-to-day personal challenges and their current energy level. Taking the time to spice up our weekly sessions also allowed me to come up with creative ideas so that the meetings do not become a task on our to-do lists but an opportunity to interact and connect meaningfully with each other.

Cindy Ong, Sport SG


Walking the dog is a good way to relax after a long day

As we continue to live in a time of uncertainty, what are some of the little things you do to stay positive and keep your spirits up?

Send your entry to psd_challenge@psd.gov.sg

The most creative entry will receive a prize worth $100. All other entries published will win vouchers worth $30 each. Entries may be edited. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number.

All entries should reach us by September 3, 2021.

  • POSTED ON
    Aug 11, 2021
  • ILLUSTRATION BY
    Mushroomhead
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