I would like to start the first paragraph by thanking my employer for giving all of us this opportunity to work from home amid this coronavirus scare. This is the company’s initiative to mitigate the risks of transmission of COVID-19 in accordance with Iloilo City’s Executive Order 55. There are a lot of challenges – from setup, connection, tools software, hardware and personal adjustments to this new setup.
Personal Adjustments to Work from Home Setup
Personally, my morning routine would start from taking a bath, commuting to work, running late, rushing to the biometrics to login, say hi to all my friends, make my morning coffee, eat my breakfast and work the rest of the day – of course all this is in between laughter, meetings, planning and team huddles.
Now, it is completely twisted. I may opt to take a bath later, work on a dress down look, time in via our company portal, say hi to the group chat hosted in Microsoft Teams – where we also conduct meetings, huddle and updates. After shift, no need to rush to catch a jeepney going home but rather shut down the computer silently and get back to sleep – my bed is just few steps away anyway.
But this does not mean that working from home, also means a lesser the daily output expected of you. Nor pretending to work but actually you are not. Working from home means an opportunity to showcase integrity, gratitude and professionalism. Integrity that even when nobody is watching, you are working. Gratitude because you are given this privilege to avail this setup (not everyone in the workforce industry is given this chance.) Lastly, professionalism – work for work’s sake – no Netflix, Viu, TikTok or similar to these while on working hours, except during break time.
Here’s a guided tips on how we can all “work the right way”.
Crank Up the Communication
Since all of us are situated in our own homes, communication is quite a challenge. Keep you all your lines open during working hours (or all day if possible). This means all you contact numbers, your Microsoft Teams, email. Your supervisors and managers will implement a lot of tracking (which may be annoying sometimes, guilty here) to ensure how did your day went. For example, we have End of Day reports, load tracking, issues logs, diary. team reports – and maybe more to come. But we need to keep everything updated – this will help both ends.
Treat it Like a Real Job
Work from Home Job is still our job. The same expected output from us like in office setup. Maybe the productivity is adjusting but the same enthusiastic level is expected. Just because we are in pajamas, we are allowed to sleep in our work. Remember that we are paid according to our salaries; unless we like the feeling of receiving money without working. This is the job that help us buy food, buy gadgets, buy plane tickets, but concert tickets, but kpop merchandise, buy milk tea so we have to take good care of it the best way we can.
Avoid the Feeling of Getting Isolated
Working from home may sound alone but it does not equate to being lonely. I am grateful that our department’s engagement group initiated virtual games to keep us engaged even miles apart. Last time we had word search game and the fastest editor to finish gets a free milk tea (delivered to your house) or a free load (sent to your number). Little icebreakers could mean a lot to lessen the feeling of getting isolated. Next in line, we will have a TikTok challenge and bingo games. (And I think so much more they are cooking while we are still in this setup). I am just here to join for free milk tea.
Keep the Spirits Up
It is a little depressing to read the news sometimes. Numbers of PUMs, PUIs and positive cases are exponentially growing. Then there are these politicians who are “so stressing” in the different angles we construe them. And may be you are looking for your missing in action local government leaders. Or you may have received the “circulating unverified news” that there will be a total lock down and you also want to go panic buying but you realized you don’t have money to buy so what you can do is only panic. Communication with our colleagues help sometimes. The Department of Health has also imposed hotlines you can call whenever you want to take a break.
Lastly, let’s take time to check on each other. If we have our personal friends, close friends, or colleague that we often say hi to when we are in the office setup, take a minute to send him or her a message to say hi, ask if she has already eaten her breakfast or what he is planning to have for lunch. Simple good morning or how are you could help him or her feel better.
Working from home is a real quest for balance. For someone like me who is used to office setup, people and real engagement, it is a battle to stay focused and at the same time, stay connected.