Year 2021: A log about being seconded to Netmarks Singapore office in midst of COVID-19 crisis

  • Blog-EN


  • Singapore
  • Covid-19

Hello everyone, this is Yuji Yoshizawa of Netmarks Singapore新規タブで開く.

Today, I would like to share my experience of going abroad to Singapore.

I was seconded from UNIADEX, Ltd. in Japan to Netmarks Singapore in February 2021. The original plan was to start working for Netmarks Singapore in 2020; however, the immigration has denied my entry 3 times due to COVID-19 condition. During that time, I had a quite hard time keeping up with the required entry documents as they kept changing every day. Determining what information I should trust on the SNS was hard as well. So, I am very relieved that I have finally made it here.

After 3 months of being here (May 2021), I now have a place to live & I am starting to get used to the life here. My main responsibility at work as a sales representative is to find new clients in Singapore. I also work with the new and existing projects for various Japanese corporations.

Let me quickly introduce my office first. The location circled on the map is where Netmarks Singapore is located.

Netmarks Singapore map

The office is located a bit away from the center of Singapore in the South side of the island. It takes about 5 minutes on the foot from the closest MRT station which is Pasir Panjang.
Although not located in the center of the city, many Japanese corporate clients are located throughout the country. You will not find it inconvenient as the public transportations such as the trains and the buses are extensively available. Google office is also located near our office. This area is quiet and full of nature.

The building where Netmarks Singapore is located
The entry door to the office

Going abroad to Singapore!

I will start with how I came to Singapore in February 2020.PCR testing within 72 hours was required to enter Singapore. Since my company clinic could not provide the test result within 72 hours, I went to an outside clinic for the test and had them create the certification in English.

I left from Narita Airport in Japan. As you can see, almost nobody was there.


There were no lines at the baggage inspection area neither.

成田空港 手荷物検査場

We only had a few people on the plane to Singapore. After arriving to Changi Airport, the airport staff guided us for a smooth immigration process. There was a temporary tent with inspectors wearing a protective suit for the PCR testing. The whole process was made in an assembly-line like environment and the testing went very smoothly without any wait. I was then escorted to a micro bus.

Once I got on the bus, I did not know which quarantine hotel I will be taken to. There were about 10 foreigners on the bus including some Japanese families with their children. Nobody knew where we will be taken to. Everyone looked worried as they were pretty quiet.

Start of quarantine days!

The hotel we arrived to was in Orchard area which is in the center of Singapore. This is where I started the 14 days quarantine life.As a rule, I could not go outside the hotel room. There were no room services including the room cleaning. New towels were given 2 times a week and the new bed sheets were given once a week.

Meals were delivered outside the door at a scheduled time every day. Once the bell rings, I opened the door and took the meals inside myself. Since I was not allowed to even open the windows, this was the only moment I could have felt the outside atmosphere.

workout plan Workout Plan given by the hotel & the daily meals

Internet ordering was allowed to have drinks and other foods to be delivered and that was a life savior. The supplied meals all tasted the same. I often made the online ordering service as I could no longer eat the same food especially at the latter part of my stay.

I am now finding out from other Japanese clients that the hotel quality varied greatly. I was envy of hearing some hotels mainly offered Western foods while occasionally offering Japanese food. My hotel was great, but the meals were very oily a day after day.

The quality of the delivery service was quite high. Grab food or Food Panda was available for the food delivery. Waters and other daily necessities were available from Amazon or web sites operated by the local markets. My only entertainment during the quarantine was to decide what to order from where.

Report of the physical condition. Use of building entrance/exit control. Use of smartphone application recommended by the government.

During the quarantine, I was told by Singapore government to download a smart phone application to report my body temperature 3 times a day. A phone call was to be made to the hotel 2 times a day (one in the morning, another during the day) to report the body temperature, location, name and such.

The screen to enter my temperature and physical condition.

a screenshot of the application

The immigration card that people used to manually fill in was digitalized to have the information entered via a website. Everyone in the country must download the Singapore government's application to read a QR code before entering a building for a check-in. If any cluster of the infection happens, the application alerts all people who were nearby to get a PCR testing.

Singapore government is proactively working on enhancing the IT technology, so things such as the notices to the public and the process can be digitized. Thus, use of a smartphone in Singapore is becoming a must. You can forget taking a wallet with you, but not the smartphone.

Singapore's smartphone usage rate was already high to begin with (148% as of 2018). On top of that, the government is eager to take in and utilize IT technologies.

End of quarantine & the PCR test

Going back to talking about my quarantine days. On the last day of my quarantine, I was allowed to go outside of my room to get a PCR test in the hotel. I will be able to check out the hotel the following day if the result is negative.

PCR test area of the hotel

The hotel I stayed at was fully dedicated to people being quarantined, so no standard quests were there.

I got a phone call the following day telling me that the test result was negative. I was finally allowed to leave the hotel!
After the check-out, I moved to a service apartment to get ready to start working at my office.

Certification & Caring message from the hotel

certification card
The hotel staff gave me a word "You've done it!" along with this certification

During the quarantine, the hotel sent me a message card under the door every day. Each day had different messages from the hotel manager, facility team, cleaning team, sales team and such. Messages included heartwarming words such as "Few more days to go - let's keep on!" "You can do it!".

I hope you enjoyed my talks about the Singapore office and the quarantine life.
I would like to continue providing information on a regular basis with the Netmarks Singapore team, so please look forward to it.

Click here新規タブで開く to read a blog article [How secure is your security measure at your overseas offices/locations?] by Netmarks Singapore introducing their solutions.

Working hard in midst of this COVID-19 work from home condition to make sales activities to the Japanese corporations located in Singapore.
(A photo taken with the Netmarks Singapore members - I am furthest to the right.)