I tried 'working from home' at a mall for a change of scenery - and here's what I discovered

I tried 'working from home' at a mall for a change of scenery - and here's what I discovered
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Dennis Palit

Hybrid work is pretty much the norm these days, with most office workers getting one or two work-from-home days per week.

But what if your home isn't the most conducive environment? Or if you're feeling a little cooped up at home?

I've been working from my current home for about three years now, so a change of scenery was very much needed. On my next work-from-home day, I found myself heading down to Lot One with my company-issued laptop in tow.

Surprisingly, I remained as productive as usual.

Having spent a full working day at Lot One, here are some of my recommended spots if you're thinking of doing the same.

Morning

If you have a habit of clearing your inbox while sipping on your morning cup of coffee, head up to Delifrance on the third floor.

With so many delectable-looking pastries on display, you'd be spoilt for choice when it comes to breakfast. Want something heartier? Try Delifrance's grilled sandwiches, which are served with a refreshing side salad in truffle ponzu dressing. The sandwiches come in five fillings, ranging from Triple Cheese Mushroom ($9.90) to Smoked Salmon ($10.90).

I took the chance to try the new Mentaiko Prawn Grilled Sandwich ($10.90), which came with generous servings of succulent prawns coated in a slightly spicy mentaiko sauce. And instead of coffee, I got their new Lychee Butterfly Pea ($6.50), a sparkling elixir infused with the delicate sweetness of lychee. The drink is caffeine-free, but it was a delightful pick-me-up as I tackled my to-do list.

Delifrance is located at #03-14A

Afternoon

I have been craving pasta, so I headed to Milan Shokudo for lunch. The casual restaurant chain specialises in Japanese-Italian fusion, so you can expect interesting combinations such as Mentai Chicken Pasta ($10.90) and Takoyaki Pizza ($12.90).

My Smoked Duck Carbonara Pasta with poached egg ($11.90) was a plate of comforting goodness. Creamy and filled with umami richness, every forkful of al dente noodles offered a satisfying bite.

Need a drink with your meal? You can top up $3.90 for free flow drinks, including soft drinks, coffee and Milo.

At this point, my laptop was running low on battery. My search for a charging point led me to Choa Chu Kang Public Library on the fourth floor, where I found plenty of seating areas perfect for remote working.

Revamped and reopened to the public in 2021, the library is quiet, comfortable and fitted with a variety of workspaces, providing me the perfect space to get my work done. Plus, it's completely free.

You'll also get free access to the internet and NLB e-resources through the library's multimedia facilities at the Study and Multimedia Zone, which is open from 9am to 10pm daily.

Tip: to ensure you snag a spot at the Study and Multimedia Zone, reserve your seat online, or on the NLB Mobile app ahead of your visit.

After a very productive two hours at the library, I decided to treat myself to a snack.

There's no better reward for hard work than bubble tea, and my pick for the day was the decadent Flaming Brown Sugar ($7.50) from The Whale Tea. For those unfamiliar with The Whale Tea, they were recently listed as the 'best bubble tea of 2023' by The Straits Times.

Made with brown sugar pearls that have been steeped for three hours and topped with a layer of cheese foam with caramelised brown sugar, their brown sugar bubble tea is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

I also happened to walk past Tori Story, which sells Japanese yakitori, bento boxes, donburi and more. Unable to resist the wafts of freshly grilled chicken skewers, I caved and ordered three of them: Chicken ($1.40), Chicken with Leek ($1.60), and Mala Crispy Chicken Kaarage ($1.70). No regrets there - the meats were well-marinated and came with a generous amount of seasoning. Each bite was a flavour bomb.

Milan Shokudo is located at #B1-12

Choa Chu Kang Public Library is located at #04-01

The Whale Tea is located at #B1-25

Tori Story is located at B1-K2

Evening

Even though my workday ended at 6pm, I continued to stay in Lot One because I was meeting a friend for dinner.

Our meeting place was at Yakiniku Shokudo - a no-frills Japanese barbecue joint that offers affordably-priced meat sets.

I was feeling particularly ravenous, so I ordered the Shokudo set ($25.90) which features cuts of beef karubi, beef tongue and a full beef steak. My friend, on the other hand, went with the popular beef karubi set ($14.90 for 200g). All set meals are served with a side of kimchi, miso soup, rice, and two dipping sauces.

We were impressed by the flavourful cuts of beef, which were nicely marbled with just the right amount of fat. Considering the price point, the meal was incredibly gratifying. We'll definitely be returning for more.

Yakiniku Shokudo is located at #02-25

Remote working in a mall

As I learned from my work-from-mall day, it definitely has its perks. I enjoyed having a wide variety of food and drink options to choose from throughout the day, plus I got to run some errands whenever I had a small pocket of time.

I was initially concerned about how productive I could be at a mall, but I've found that if I?arrive at Lot One early,?I could easily snag a seat at most places. Plus, there's always the library if I really need a quiet environment.

For Westies looking for an alternative location for remote working, take this as your sign to head down to Lot One on your next work-from-home day!

Address: Lot One, 21 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, Singapore 689812

This article is brought to you in partnership with Lot One Shoppers' Mall.

sophie.hong@asiaone.com

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