Lots of people love working from home, and it’s not surprising why. Since the start of the pandemic, those lucky guys to have avoided layoff more likely have adapted to a new working environment, which is good and ‘challenging’ at the same time – at least for me. Good, because, of course, you enjoy the benefits of every single day. At the same time, it’s surprisingly challenging because of the many things you need to attend to, such as noisy pets during endless team calls and training sessions, self-discipline to get tasks done, and avoiding loss of day’s structure.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home is great news! Even when I was still in Cebu, I do appreciate the many benefits of working remotely. To name a few, avoidance of public commute, flexibility (hell, yes!), cost savings, and work-life balance!
No more commutes
Atlas! The very best feeling is no more hour and half time preparation before leaving to work, no more stealing jeepney rides, no more beating against the red light, no more rushing to buy breakfast before time in, and of course, no more facing against rainy mornings while on the way to work. No more sighs!
Although during the first few weeks of remote working, I still needed to report to the office. Since public transport wasn’t allowed, I had to brisk walk 3 km every day carrying my heavy laptop. The best thing about it was I learned to enjoy this morning exercise and the ending? I lost a whopping 6 kg from 58 to 52 kg during the pandemic.
Months after, I finally embraced 100% working from home. All the struggles of snarl-ups are put to an end, plus I got to save commuting expenses and my time. How does that sound?
I hold my time
Everyone has shifted and finally adjusted to working outside the ‘traditional’ environment. Of course, I still have my contract signed with the company along with jobs and responsibilities – and I need to stick to these. But, the GREAT thing is, I HOLD MY TIME. I can work while eating without stressing out about my outfit every day. I can work in flexible schedules whenever it suits as long as the deadlines are met. As long as the instructions are cleared out, I can independently do my job whatever time it is.
This opens many rooms for problems, but if you do it right, you save yourself a lot of time to have all things settled. I also believe in the saying ‘Overperform and underpromise.’ Just do your job and produce results, not only results but also take time to add an extra flavor of excellence and produce AMAZING results.
Opportunites of doing multiple salaried jobs
When the pandemic started, we heard a lot of cases of employee retrenchment. While this is the case, there’s this other side where people work two or more jobs to increase their source of income.
Thanks to this work-from-home setup where limited social engagements and time-savings gave birth to these increased job opportunities.
I have a full-time job from 8 to 5 as a Civil Engineer attending to clients, conducting trainings, and keeping technical skills updated, especially problem-solving skills. This salary goes to pay utility bills, pet food, credit card bills, insurance, and pay for other investments. What’s left here will go to savings.
As my FB bio states, I don’t live in stagnant waters – I hate stagnancy (haha). So, I grabbed the chance to earn extra during my free hours and decided to get a second job as a Content Writer, which also pays really well to increase my savings and emergency funds – which become the source funds if emergency vet cases arise. What I love about this second job is I get paid to do what I love, apart from my profession.
The bottom line – YOU ARE MANY THINGS. If you have passion for something, go for it. Pursue those ‘what ifs, and if lucky enough, earn from it.
Challenges of Working from Home
The absence of challenges of work-from-home setup may sound like a dream. But, think of these: challenges are not there to destroy you but teach you something.
Boundaries between Work and Personal Life
This. If you notice, this boundary between work and personal life is sometimes blurry. As for me, my working space is inside the bedroom because it’s the only part of the house that I’d be secluded from our pets. The problem when your bedroom becomes your ‘office’ is productivity. The place you run into to relax is also the exact same space you need to wake up your brain to be productive.
The bed is so close at hand if I need to nap, and if I’m not disciplined enough, it magnets me to sleep the whole day. That’s why it’s crucial for me to structure my day, and no matter what happens, I have to stick to it. So you see, you have to teach yourself the values of self-discipline and organization. Otherwise, you fall into the trap of unproductivity.
Developing a Routine
You may say that sticking to a routine is difficult, isn’t it? Well, creating a routine is one thing and sticking to it is another. It’s more difficult to do the latter.
I don’t know if you can relate, but sometimes, I find myself very enthusiastic about starting a routine but find it hard to sustain in the long run. Perhaps, my habits are too unrealistic, or too hard. That’s why it’s essential to create good habits that are achievable. This means establishing ‘micro’ habits that are possible to accomplish.
I remember what my thesis adviser told me ‘Don’t forget to create self-made deadlines.’ This is the line I always go back every time I feel overwhelmed with everything I need to do. By breaking the ‘WHOLE’ job into smaller tasks and assigning a deadline for each one, you can achieve whatever is ahead of you.
So, I am sharing with you my everyday ‘routine’ below:
- Wake up 2 hours before work. Avoid going online first thing in the morning.
- Drink water and supplements (Sometimes, I forgot this part. ☹)
- Take the dogs out for ‘potty time.’
- Harvesting poops (LOL) from the litter boxes in the cat room.
- Make sure to get rid of dogs’ poops on the footwalk.
- Wash and get dressed for the online meeting.
- List all tasks for the day after the meeting.
- Eat breakfast or drink coffee.
- Work. Work. Work.
- During breaks, I do house chores, play with dogs, talk, and cuddle with my cats.
- After dinner, I do my second job. Finish on time and avoid distractions. But most of the time, to avoid being so into the work, which for me is healthy, I listen to crime documentaries while writing.
This topic is interesting. I learned that it’s INSTRUCTIONAL to lose motivation. What does that mean? It is your subconscious mind telling you that something is not correct. We hear many people, or sometimes ourselves, saying we can’t finish something because of a lack of motivation. It’s not hard to figure out because it HAPPENS a lot of times. But, why?
First reason, we don’t value the task enough. Ask yourself WHY you are doing it. If your answer is WEAK, try to work out why you do it in the first place or should you really be doing it.
Second, the task is OVERWHELMING. Perhaps, you set your goal too high (it’s okay). The higher the goal, the harder you should push yourself every single time. But, if you are stuck, maybe because the goal is overwhelming. Again, break down the task into ‘micro’ tasks, assign a deadline to each, and see how it is easier for you to regain that motivation and finish your job.
Aspire to be a BETTER YOU
You may or may not like this new setup of working from home, but there’s one thing you need to do – ADAPT. The environment is dynamically changing, and just like everyone else, I need to exert effort and do a great job to REAP the benefits of this ‘new’ setup. Without work, you enjoy nothing. It doesn’t mean that those working from home are the ‘happy-go-lucky’ workers. Mind you, your boss knows how you are performing with your outputs.
Grab the chance to have that better work-life balance. Seize more opportunities and maximize your potentials. In the end, it is YOU who tailor your own day, your own life.
As for me, I wake up with vigor and purpose. So, how do I feel working from home? Simple. I’m loving it so far.
Cha of Little Misadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.