While #WorkFromHome is standard protocol now and many have come to find comfort in this arrangement, that isn’t possible for many professionals in industries which necessarily require the workplace to be outside their homes. In our new series #TheFutureOfWork, we talk to individuals whose nature of work doesn’t allow them to log on remotely and ask them how they envision their industries changing in a post-lockdown era. Here, we chat with Farhan Momin, a dentist and chef at Farmo Cooks Pop Up and Atlanta Halal.
How has your day-to-day work been impacted?
I always thought the benefit of having two careers would be that if one was slow I could compensate for it by spending time on the other. The tragic part of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has brought the hospitality and healthcare industries to their knees. I have had to dramatically scale back the amount of time I spend at the dental clinic as well as the restaurant. Currently, I am seeing emergency patients on select days throughout the week. With the restaurant, we are fortunate enough to have a butcher shop alongside the kitchen so we were somewhat buffered from the effects of the pandemic. We are currently doing take-out orders only and have removed all tables and chairs from the dining room area. We’re also promoting the use of call-in orders to reduce waiting times within the store. That being said many of my restaurateur friends have had to close shop completely or run a limited take-out only service. I have had to cancel all my upcoming pop-up dinners and am thinking about how I want to reshape my business model coming out of Covid-19.
What are some of the ways that you are keeping yourself occupied? Where do you find comfort?
The biggest blessing that has come out of the pandemic is having time to spend with my family and catch up with friends. Video calls have been a great way to chat. This period is the longest span I have consistently been at home in years and I’m using the time to share some of my favourite recipes and work on new ones, and hone my dental skills by taking continuing education classes.
How do you truly feel about having to bring your work into your home environment, if at all? Are there any ideas you find yourself contemplating?
For me, home is where I do most of my creative thinking and planning. Having this time to spend on new ideas and concepts has been refreshing, especially while not having to go into the clinic every day. It allows me to focus on food and channel my creativity.
What do you think the future of your profession and business will look like? How will you have to rethink what you do if social distancing is still in effect?
I think the future of dentistry and restaurants will have to fundamentally change. The personal protective equipment we now have to wear at the clinic is clunky and suffocating but we have to get used to it in order to serve our patients. In the restaurant industry, social distancing will change the dining-in model. I think virtual kitchens and pick-up-pop-ups, with a unique menu available only as take out, will become the new normal