• Mags Rafael-Salvador

Work From Home, No Problem!

The world has been hit with a pandemic. Never have I ever imagined that we will be in this challenging situation, it has been seven weeks of lockdown or home quarantine scenario. This is our new normal, until such time that there will be available cure or vaccine to Covid19 pandemic. As a result, we are on a standstill while businesses and organizations are working double time to roll out new policies such as Work From Home for different business sectors to continue being of service to the consumers that needs the most assistance.

I belong to the travel sector working on marketing and operations of our brand’s online channels. As our industry is one of the most hit during this pandemic, we still were able to set up in advance our capability to work remotely. Working from home came as a breeze since we were already practicing this at least once a week (when traffic in the metro became too much to bear, we were allowed to do one day a week to work from home).

Here’s sharing some of my learnings to help you traverse to a new remote working situation:

Create your new normal

Stay productive by following your previous work routine, for example if you normally shower every morning, drink coffee or listen to a podcast on your commute, I suggest you continue to do those things before starting work. This will help set the right tone for your day. Remember also to stay flexible and maintain your regular work hours. Sometimes, I find myself losing track of time working so what I recommend is set alarm for times you should be going off of work, it would also help if you set expectations with your manager on when you plan to be online and if you need to be available outside your normal working hours.

Establish a workspace

It’s best to arrange a dedicated office area, even if it’s just in a corner of your living room or bedroom. Since most of the workforce are now working from home, and you might have a spouse or partner that also works from home, please try to maintain separate working spaces. This way you don’t disturb one another, and he or she will not be visible should you have an important zoom conference call to take.

Keep communication lines open

Stay connected, sometimes you’ll feel alone and lonely. Don’t let distance get the better of you. Video conferencing is our refuge, this is our new normal as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. When you’re leading a virtual meeting, acknowledge the presence of all the participants and give each a moment to participate so they feel connected. While, if you are the one attending a video conference, greet the participants when you’re joining in and say your name when you’re about to speak. Video calls doesn’t always have to be about work, virtual coffee date or virtual happy hour is a welcome alternative.

Take care of your well-being

Stay healthy, drink your vitamins, and make time to exercise. Your well-being should be your priority, investing in your health and wellness is very important. It makes you happy and alleviates the feeling of “cabin fever” (some emotions or symptoms people experience when they're confined to their homes for extended periods of time). Make sure to stretch, breathe in / out between meetings, do quick meditation techniques as well. If you can try not to drink soda or eat chips, much better because water, fruits and nuts would be healthier for your working body :-) instead. Coffee drinker? not a problem though I recommend a maximum of two cups should do it for your needed caffeine intake. And of course, take at least a 30 minute break to eat lunch and recharge.

Be mindful and kind

Sometimes we get misunderstood when so much communication happens electronically. So, be mindful of our tone on emails, chat apps and instant messages. I think emoji’s help a lot to calm our mind and the way we communicate virtually. Ask questions to understand better and don’t let your patience run thin. Always channel your energy to kindness and being positive as the situation of us working remotely truly takes its toll when we’re running in this situation for long. And when it’s time to sleep, try to leave your laptop and phone outside your bedroom so you can get your much needed sleep and be revitalized for the next day’s battle.

Stay up-to-date and continue to engage with your community

Continue to build relationships, balance your family and work dynamics, bear in mind that every day is a new day for learning and adapting to our situation. There are a lot of information out there that can help us maneuver to the new normal of doing things. Read a lot, share best practices. I believe we are here to thrive and not just survive the situation, even if we work remotely its still best to do teamwork. Look out for each other, and have each-others back. This is not the time to be an individual contributor, this is the time when you need others to keep you sane and productive.

And again, all I’m saying is that staying connected is more important than ever as we face the challenges and adapt to the changes in our daily routine. It’s prudent to say that we’re not alone, our family, friends, and colleagues are as reachable as they can be by being online now. Yes, we miss the hugs, the kisses, the get-togethers we all do these virtually now-a-days. But I think, the situation we’re in right now has brought us more meaningful relationship by being closer to our family, spending time with them, talking to them, doing movie marathons and a lot more outside our work schedule. So, let’s treasure the moments at home, times when we are not experiencing horrible traffic, pollution in the metro, spending for gas and food unnecessarily.

Let’s grow a grateful heart, live simply and take it one day at a time.

* Originally published at LinkedIn

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