The Jakarta Post
You have completed the tasks your boss gave you, watered the plants and binge-watched your favorite shows online. Yet the day is still long as you spend time confined to your home amid the study- and work-from-home policies imposed by the authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19.
But for some, a surfeit of leisure time has sparked ideas about new productive hobbies that can support them financially.
Ester Christine Natalia, a 26-year-old office worker from Tangerang, Banten, has chosen to spend more time in her kitchen after being asked to work from home by her employers around a month ago.
"I love to try new recipes and my husband is also into cooking, since he watched a Korean drama recently," Ester told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Ester said she and her husband were surprised to find a new recipe they had made tasted delicious, so they decided to try selling the dish online several days ago.
"My husband tried a new recipe called tahu walik [fried tofu], and it was surprisingly really good. So, we decided to sell it through Instagram starting on Wednesday. I didn't expect anybody to buy it, at first. But as it turned out, a lot of people were interested in trying it out," she said.
Ester said she was quite happy with her new business although she admitted that it was quite challenging since she and her husband had to juggle between work and cooking.
"My husband and I have wanted to start a business for a long time, especially at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, since there's a high risk that both of us could lose our jobs. We were thinking hard about how to get extra income," she said.
The profit for the two days’ sales was Rp 50,000 (US$ 3.21).
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Physical-distancing policies have been imposed in Greater Jakarta since last month in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, forcing many residents to stay at home as their companies comply with the regulation.
Meanwhile, for 29-year-old journalist Muhammad Andika Putra, working from home is a great opportunity to restart the family's culinary business.
"My brother loves to cook. For the past three years he has occasionally sold food via social media, but not like 'seriously'. However, since we started to work from home around five weeks ago, we thought it was a great idea to start selling food again," he told the Post.
Dika explained that he and his brother convinced their mother to sell her doughnuts via the popular photo-sharing app Instagram. The brothers were certain that their mother’s doughnuts, which have been a family breakfast staple for years would be a hit among people who were stuck at home and craving a nice snack.
He said his family had been surprised by the success of their new business.
The family now count making and packing doughnuts as one of their daily activities, thanks to the growing number of orders.
"We've seen our sales steadily rise due to the social-distancing policy, since a lot of people want to snack at home but they can't go anywhere. In the first week we sold around 20 doughnuts but now we manage to sell 90,” Dika said adding that a pack of five unfried doughnuts cost Rp 25,000 and a pack of 10 sold for Rp 50,000.