Work from anywhere a win-win solution for Style Theory employee

Ms Jennifer Ong, 31, at Style Theory's headquarters in Singapore. PHOTO: STYLE THEORY

SINGAPORE - When Ms Jennifer Ong, 31, moved back to Hong Kong last November, it had been two years since she last saw her family there.

Her employer, fashion start-up Style Theory which is headquartered in Singapore, had given her the opportunity to work from overseas and she was glad she was able to see her parents and siblings as a result.

She returned to Hong Kong and had to serve a 14-day Covid-19 quarantine in a designated hotel, as well as take three tests during that period.

Ms Ong, a Hong Kong resident, said: "This was my longest stretch being away from home. I was really happy to be able to spend quality time with my family and friends.

"Being in Hong Kong also gave me the opportunity to push Style Theory to further expand in the Hong Kong market."

Before her move, Ms Ong was a manager with the start-up, overseeing its designer bag rental business.

While in Singapore, she set up the Hong Kong branch remotely, conducting market research and generating publicity for its launch.

In October, Ms Ong requested to move overseas as she recognised how being in Hong Kong would help her better understand Style Theory's customer base and how to position its brand.

She said: "Being on the ground helps us better understand our customers and to understand what they value, whether it's convenience, hygiene or variety."

Being in Hong Kong has also made it easier for her to check the condition of clothes in Style Theory's inventory than when she was based in Singapore.

Ms Ong said: "Especially because our business is a physical one, I need to work closely with our warehousing team. Sometimes it's hard to gauge an item's quality over a Zoom call."

Although she is working remotely, Ms Ong ensures she remains in close contact with her team in Singapore.

Ms Ong, who is now general manager for Hong Kong expansion at Style Theory, attends both company-wide meetings and smaller ones involving the marketing, content and logistics teams she works closely with.

She added: "Being in the same time zone is great because it doesn't feel like I'm separated from the team, and everyone in Singapore is also still working from home."

Ms Jennifer Ong hiking with friends at High Junk Peak. PHOTO: COURTESY OF JENNIFER ONG

Ms Ong will remain in Hong Kong for the time being, but the Singapore permanent resident has plans to return to the Republic where her husband works in the finance sector.

For now, she is happy she can spend time with loved ones in Hong Kong, go hiking and relive fond childhood memories.

Ms Ong said: "What I missed the most were the people (I love). And I really miss some Hong Kong food like ci fan, or rice breakfast rolls, and roast goose noodles which I couldn't find in Singapore."

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