Now that the national government has implemented an enhanced community quarantine, most people are required to stay home from March 17 to April 14, 2020. Those who are lucky to be able to work from home are probably grappling with their new environment and the many temptations their home can provide. I’ve been working from home for the past four years and while people are always telling me how jealous they are of my setup, I respond with how much discipline it takes to have that kind of freedom.
To those people who are still struggling with the work from home setup, here are seven things I love about it, along with some tips to help them survive this quarantine. Who knows, it might encourage them to pursue it full time.
1. I don’t have to deal with traffic and the rush hour stress
Probably the biggest benefit of working from home is not having to deal with rush hour stress. I have a lot of respect for those who endure long commutes. I hope the government does something about the public transportation system because it is so inefficient and Filipinos deserve better.
Before people think I’m out of touch with the realities of the common Filipino, I am also a commuter. It’s a humbling experience and it keeps me grounded. I also recognize that I am lucky that I can choose when to go out most of the time. Now that you don’t have to deal with traffic, you can choose to get an extra hour of sleep or pick up a hobby. You can learn a new language, catch up on your reading, or develop a skill.
2. I can start work any time I want
Another benefit is that I’m not required to follow the normal work hours of 9AM to 6PM. I can choose to work in the afternoon or the evening. However, to maintain a semblance of normalcy, I work regular office hours. I don’t check emails or respond to work messages past 6PM since I reserve the evenings for leisure.
There are people who work better in the mornings, while others work better at night. Find your rhythm and make sure to have clear boundaries because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself working the whole day. You will never run out of things to do but there’s always another day to do it.
3. I have time to enjoy my morning
For most people, mornings mean rushing out of bed to start preparing for the day. Now I have time to leisurely enjoy the early hours with a cup of coffee. Right now I’m drinking Great Taste’s Brown Barako Coffee. It has a strong kick because it’s barako (a type of coffee grown in Batangas and Cavite), but it’s balanced by the right amount of sweetness. This coffee is being endorsed by Jericho Rosales, an all-around cool guy who balances his showbiz career with his vlog Mr. Manileno and being an awesome husband to Kim Jones.
Since you don’t have to go through the morning rush, start your day slowly and ease your way into it. Don’t check your phone right away since it’s just going to be filled with work emails and clutter from social media.
4. I can work anywhere
My favorite perk of not having an office is I can work anywhere. I can work from home, in a mall, or even abroad. I can travel any time I want since there are no official leave systems. I submit all my deliverables and meet my deadlines by working over breakfast, in the afternoons while resting, or at night before sleeping.
Stay connected by getting a travel wi-fi. That way, your colleagues and clients can still keep in touch with you, even if you’re not at your accommodations.
I love naps and I can indulge in them now that I don’t work in an office. Ever feel like napping after lunch? You can’t in the office but you can do what when you’re working remotely!
A nap makes you feel refreshed and energized, so don’t feel guilty when you feel like hopping into bed. Keep it short, though. I always feel groggy and disoriented when I take long ones. On a similar note, try not to work in bed because you’ll just feel lazy. Also, working in bed will make it hard to sleep because your brain will think it’s an area for work. Instead, designate a spot that will serve as your office. I have a desk in my bedroom but sometimes I work in the dining room or the living room. I switch it up every now and then.
6. I have time to go to the gym
Some people complain that they can’t go to the gym or focus on their fitness because of work. By the time they clock out, they’d be too tired. Totally understandable. To be honest, I was only able to keep track of my fitness when I quit my office job. Now that I work from home, I have more time to hit the gym. What I do is, I answer emails and work on some stuff in the morning, have lunch, then head to the gym. After that, I work somewhere.
Like my advice from above, set a schedule that works for you. Sign up for the gym, go for a run outside, or watch many of the fitness videos on YouTube. My gym has closed down during the quarantine so it’s streaming for me!
7. I have time to do what I want
The flexible nature of remote work means you can plot your day the way you want it. Ever since I started working this way, I have more time to do what I like, such as reading and watching movies and shows. If I work within my boundaries, I’ll even have time to attend online classes, learn a new skill, or get more sleep.
You can enjoy this, too, if you have a set working schedule. My tip is, finish everything early in the day so you have time to relax and pursue your passions.
This story is in partnership with Great Taste. For more information, follow them on Facebook.