Larry Loh
May 26, 2020

WFH Diary: starting a new job as lockdown began

Twitter's recently appointed APAC head of communications on juggling four time zones, a new role and some furry friends.

WFH Diary: starting a new job as lockdown began

As a relatively new Tweep (our lingo for Twitter employees), I had a good two weeks of back-to-back meetings in the Singapore office before Twitter implemented our work from home (WFH) policy in February, a few weeks ahead of the official circuit breaker measures by the government.

For me, joining Twitter at that particular point was probably the best and worst time to join: worst because I was effectively grounded and I valued face-to-face relationship building with my team and stakeholders more than anything else. But also the best as it really demonstrated the core values and real priorities of Twitter—its people, its users and the conversations it served, which were even more important than ever during a crisis.

This #NewNormal hasn’t been too bad for me since Twitter was already fully equipped to work and connect remotely. Apart from the inevitable disturbances—noises from the neighbourhood like grass cutting or delivery bikes zooming past, or my cats making guest appearances on my video conference calls—I’ve decked out my workstation to be as productive as possible since all signs point to #WFH being the norm for quite a long while.

7am: My two feline alarm clocks get me up and going on the clock, mewing and licking me until they’re fed breakfast. I get my coffee fix going while I browse through my emails for priority items, and my Twitter feed for specific Topics on Twitter to pull out stories on issues I’m particularly interested in. These include #Technology, #Cats & #Dogs, and not so strangely during these times, #HomeImprovement.

1 pm: Depending on the day of the week, my days can start really early or run late into the night since I participate in global meetings across PST, EST and European time zones, so as a routine I do take care to block off some personal time for myself. 1 pm in Singapore is when our regular midday team huddle happens as my team is spread out across four time zones in Asia Pacific, so having team calls over Google Hangouts was the norm even before this #WFH started!

The incredible global @TwitterComms fam

It was surprising to me when I first joined and many people wouldn’t have guessed, but Twitter’s employees number around 4,600 globally, which is tiny compared to the other Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

2 pm: My daily schedule is usually packed to the minute and can get quite frenetic if I don’t schedule breaks in between, which I consciously do. My wife and I make it a point to pause and make a quick breakfast or lunch before we put the headsets back on.

My position involves me across a multiple of functions and teams, and keeps me on my toes. Twitter’s APAC cross-functional leadership teams work across the board—from government agencies, to NGO partners, to brands and agencies—to help ensure Twitter serves the public conversation and provides helpful solutions to people and businesses using our service. This kind of work is what makes me genuinely #LoveWhereYouWork as I know the work we do has a real impact on communities and people out there.

7 pm: My last VC call of the day finishes and if we’ve still energy, we’ll whip up a quick simple dinner. But once in a while, we’ll order takeout for dinner while I plonk down on the couch with a glass of wine—delivery drivers have really supported the community in the current climate, and it heartens me to see positive Tweets showing appreciation for these workers.

One last check if there’s any pressing items or emails, then we’d catch whatever’s currently on Netflix or Amazon Prime (we just finished Kingdom and now moving on to Altered Carbon) before calling it a night—if I don’t have a midnight call!

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