ECQ Diaries: Working from Home

So, the Enhanced Community Quarantine is extended until May 15, 2020. Today is Day #40 of the Luzon-wide ECQ here in the Philippines. As of latest, we have the following stats:

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From the DOH Facebook page here

I am one of the lucky few who were given the chance to work from home. It has been a long time dream of mine to gradually shift from an office-based job to a home-based one because I wanted to be with the kids more. When the ECQ was announced, it only took a couple of days to set-up the tools I needed to be able to work from home. Everything was done remotely since everybody from the office were already staying home at the time. Technology is awesome! Our IT team is awesome!

I am very grateful for work, it’s a routine, yes. But, at this time of a pandemic crisis when everything is unpredictable, I think we all need a bit of a routine in our daily lives.

During the first few days, I am cooped up in this small corner of our bedroom designated as my “work station”. Even before the ECQ, this corner is where I usually blog and make lay-outs for the crayon business. But, I feel cramped from working here the entire day. Figuratively and literally, sumasakit ang legs ko because I can’t extend them. So, I decided to change locations from time to time.

To make the set-up ergonomic, I used a box as a laptop stand so the monitor is eye-level. But, the wireless keyboard is loud when I type so I ditched it as of this writing.

Sometimes, I set up my laptop at our balcony. I love working here in the morning because it’s not too hot, I get a little bit of Vitamin D, I can see the pool guys and the gardeners working which gives me a sense of normalcy and some neighbors even set up their yoga mats at the pool area to work out. But, since our unit faces the afternoon sun, it can get terribly humid around lunchtime until sunset. So, I only work here at the balcony in the morning from 7 AM to around 10 AM then go back to my little corner and continue working until end of shift.

Thanks to the husband for convincing me to get a unit facing the amenities! This is my breakfast nook. 🙂

As much as I love working from home, it can become challenging at times. The internet connection lags, the kids are being makulit and the husband is on conference call all the time (maingay!).

Because they see me all the time, they wanted to be with me ALL THE TIME.

Despite the challenges, I have to maintain my sanity at home and productivity at work. Yup, we have to be productive most especially during these times because we need to prove to our bosses that working from home is not bad for business, we need to show them that we can make it happen regardless of where we are working from and what we’re wearing: smart casual pa yan or gula-gulanit na pambahay. Lol!

So, here’s what I do to have that sense of “everything’s normal” vibe, because this is really our new norm:

  • Wake up early. Do not think that just because you work from home, you can get out of bed near the start of your shift. I tried that and it left me hurried and ngarag.
  • Stick to a routine. I wake up these days around the same time I did before the ECQ. My alarm goes off at 4am, I snooze for another 30 minutes and finally gets up at 4:30am. Have cofffee, exercise for a few minutes then take a bath.
  • Before shift starts, I prepare my breakfast and have my 2nd round of coffee.
  • I have a weekly meal plan stuck to the fridge so the yaya doesn’t have to ask me everyday what she will prepare. I just bring out the meat that she will use from the freezer to thaw. If I can’t get away from work and I needed to instruct her with something, I send her a message on Messenger. 🙂
  • Use my break times. I admit, I don’t use all of my break times now, but I take longer lunch times so I can eat lunch with the rest of the family.
  • I stand up from time to time because I get leg cramps when I sit too long at my little corner.
  • I lock the kids outs. When they’re being makulit and start fighting, I tell them to stay out of the room and let me work in peace. Then I lock the door.
  • Spotify is my bestfriend. Music sets my mood so every morning, I open Spotify and play my favorites. Usually, I start the day with the CLOY soundtrack followed by the Positive Vibes playlist.
  • Log off at the end of shift. Sometimes, I extend a couple more minutes to finish a few things but most times, I log off at the exact time.

There you have it, working from home is working really well for me. I am loving every second of it plus at the end of the shift, I can just scoot over to the bed, lie down and watch Itaewon Class on Netflix.

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