Working from home together

Ms Azzeiyana Muhd Azman, 24, works from home - her boss' home.

Once or twice a month, Ms Azzeiyana, an operations coordinator, takes her four-year-old son to work at operations manager Liana Raffort's apartment, usually when the child is ill or if his childcare centre is closed for the day.

Both women are employees of No Deviation, a service company for the pharmaceutical industry, which embraces flexible arrangements such as working from home.

Mrs Raffort, 41, who is Ms Azzeiyana's supervisor, has two children - Mya, eight, and Norman, six. She has a domestic helper and Norman is in childcare full-time, though Mya is not and is usually at home if she does not have enrichment activities such as ballet and piano after school.

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On rare occasions, all three children are around while their mothers are working. Mrs Raffort says it can ironically be easier on the parents than if just one child is at home, as the children occupy themselves by playing together in the play room.

Being able to work while caring for their children "helps relieve stress" because they feel fulfilled in both their professional and parental roles, says Mrs Raffort, who is married to a French program manager, who works at Microsoft.

Ms Azzeiyana says their work arrangement is "convenient and comfortable" as she feels that her boss, being a mother, understands her situation as a single parent.

Ms Azzeiyana makes sure her son, El Adam Abdullah, is occupied with toys and occasional snacks and drinks, for instance. YouTube is her last resort.

"Quite a few times, he'll say, 'Mummy, I'm bored', and I'll ask him what he wants to do next," she says, adding that it takes just a few minutes to get him settled into the next activity. "It can be disruptive sometimes when I'm engaged in a task and he takes my attention off it. But that's the only frustration."

She says her son looks forward to occasionally going to work with her. "He'll wake early and say, 'I don't want to go to school today. Can you bring me to the office?'"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02, 2017, with the headline 'Working from home together'. Print Edition | Subscribe