June 15, 2017

Why Working from Home Is Effective for Me

For the past year, I’ve been lucky to work from home 100% of the time.
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benefits of working from home Philippines

The advent of technology has made working remotely possible, to my advantage.


Recently, my former colleagues in the corporate world became excited when the Telecommuting Act of 2017 was passed. However, their enthusiasm died down when, after consultation with HR, they decided not to adopt it since it’s optional for companies to do so.

For the past year or so, I have been lucky to work from home 100% of the time. While ShoppersGuide is working on increasing manpower for our Cebu operations and securing a physical office, I can do my tasks from the comfort of my home. Having been used to the corporate grind, it did take me some time to adapt to this. But after setting my routine down pat, I have managed to make telecommuting work for me. Here are some things I learned along the way.


The upsides


Most employees, whether working for themselves or for an employer, strive to achieve that elusive goal of finding work-life balance. With a work-from-home arrangement, I find that I can juggle both work and house chores more effectively than when I was working in the corporate world. After work, I exercise at a gym or yoga studio, go to the bank, or go grocery shopping. These are all within a short distance from where I live, so I don’t need to travel far to run errands or do self-care activities. Doing all these makes me happier overall. And the less stressed I am, the more productive I can be.

Speaking of clothes, you don’t also need to mind what to wear. I can wear pajamas, shorts, really anything goes, except if I have a video call. Even so, wearing pambahay (clothes for the home) makes me feel sluggish, so I still dress up in casual clothes even when I’m at home.


benefits of working from home Philippines

Daily office commute is something I don’t miss.


On a day-to-day basis, office-bound employees face the horrors of traffic. In fact, the heavy traffic in highly urbanized cities is one of the reasons which prompted lawmakers to come up with the telecommuting law. Traffic is definitely one of the things that I don’t miss. My desk is literally just seconds away from our bedroom, so I don’t have to contend with this anymore. If you spend an hour or more in traffic as part of your office commute, just imagine how much work you’ll get done with that time.

Back when I was still a corporate employee, one thing that took up most of my time was meetings. Some of them required holding a meeting, while some did not. That’s why I can relate to a meme which says, “I just survived another meeting which could have been sent as an e-mail.” Being in a home office means that you will be less likely to attend meetings, other than virtual ones. This means you have all the time to devote to your tasks. There are also fewer distractions from colleagues who drop by your cubicle and engage in small talk.


The downsides


Perhaps one of the things that made working from home suitable for me is that I have an introverted personality. After taking the 16 Personalities test, I have been classified into the INTJ and INFJ personality types. If you are an extrovert who usually draws energy from interacting with other people, then this type of set-up might not be the best for you. If you’re this kind of person, I suggest you telecommute once in a while or only when needed, and work in an office setting majority of the time.


benefits of working from home Philippines

As a remote employee, I can work anywhere, like at coffee shops and co-working spaces.


And yes, while I may be an introverted person, I do I miss talking to people face to face. There are just nuances in human interaction that can’t be captured in an email or chat, even with emoticons.

Another downside about working from home is that you are dependent on the quality of the internet connection you get from your provider. Though I wish it was faster, my connection is usually sufficient for me to accomplish my tasks. However, there have been times when I had to work in a coffee shop due to technical issues with our provider.

This is why I feel that for the telecommuting law to be effective, Congress should also make sure that Filipinos have access to telecom companies offering fast internet connections. Remote employees could accomplish more if they have blazing-fast internet speed within their reach. But unfortunately, much as I would like that to happen today, I’m afraid it’s altogether a different discussion best reserved for another day.


Time management tips


When you’re working from home, no one is constantly watching over your shoulder. While this may be viewed by some as an advantage, there are disadvantages to it as well. Others think it is free license to do whatever they want, even non-work-related tasks. Others view it as an opportunity to maximize their time to prove that they are worthy of being given telecommuting benefits.


benefits of working from home Philippines

I break down huge tasks to bite-sized chunks with the Pomodoro Technique. (Image: Cirillo Company)


As for me, I manage my time by using the Pomodoro technique. I use an online tomato timer which rings every 25 minutes. Before starting the timer, I write down in an Excel sheet the task which needs to be accomplished within 25 minutes. To prevent eye strain, I look away from my computer for a few minutes before beginning another 25-minute round. At the end of the week, I look down at my daily logs and break down how much time I spent on each task.

I find the Pomodoro technique helpful because it allows me to concentrate on tasks in small time intervals, instead of thinking about them in hours which seems more difficult. It makes one more mindful of minutes spent on a task knowing that these can contribute to accomplishing bigger goals.

Another time management tool that I use is Google Calendar. It’s simple but it works. Before, I used a planner but now, I rely on Google Calendar because it’s more flexible when your plans don’t pan out. I read somewhere that if you don’t carve out time for tasks, you’re bound not to do them anyway even if they’re in your to-do list. And so, using the time estimates I get from my Excel sheet of tasks, I plot out blocks of time for me to work on my to-do’s.


The verdict


Armed with the right mindset and productivity tools, I would say that remote employees can be as effective and productive as their office-based colleagues. Remember that with this kind of work set-up, there’s no one else but you who is accountable for the results.

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of ShoppersGuide.com.ph (SG) are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, SG does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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June 15, 2017

Why Working from Home Is Effective for Me

For the past year, I’ve been lucky to work from home 100% of the time.

benefits of working from home Philippines

The advent of technology has made working remotely possible, to my advantage.


Recently, my former colleagues in the corporate world became excited when the Telecommuting Act of 2017 was passed. However, their enthusiasm died down when, after consultation with HR, they decided not to adopt it since it’s optional for companies to do so.

For the past year or so, I have been lucky to work from home 100% of the time. While ShoppersGuide is working on increasing manpower for our Cebu operations and securing a physical office, I can do my tasks from the comfort of my home. Having been used to the corporate grind, it did take me some time to adapt to this. But after setting my routine down pat, I have managed to make telecommuting work for me. Here are some things I learned along the way.


The upsides


Most employees, whether working for themselves or for an employer, strive to achieve that elusive goal of finding work-life balance. With a work-from-home arrangement, I find that I can juggle both work and house chores more effectively than when I was working in the corporate world. After work, I exercise at a gym or yoga studio, go to the bank, or go grocery shopping. These are all within a short distance from where I live, so I don’t need to travel far to run errands or do self-care activities. Doing all these makes me happier overall. And the less stressed I am, the more productive I can be.

Speaking of clothes, you don’t also need to mind what to wear. I can wear pajamas, shorts, really anything goes, except if I have a video call. Even so, wearing pambahay (clothes for the home) makes me feel sluggish, so I still dress up in casual clothes even when I’m at home.


benefits of working from home Philippines

Daily office commute is something I don’t miss.


On a day-to-day basis, office-bound employees face the horrors of traffic. In fact, the heavy traffic in highly urbanized cities is one of the reasons which prompted lawmakers to come up with the telecommuting law. Traffic is definitely one of the things that I don’t miss. My desk is literally just seconds away from our bedroom, so I don’t have to contend with this anymore. If you spend an hour or more in traffic as part of your office commute, just imagine how much work you’ll get done with that time.

Back when I was still a corporate employee, one thing that took up most of my time was meetings. Some of them required holding a meeting, while some did not. That’s why I can relate to a meme which says, “I just survived another meeting which could have been sent as an e-mail.” Being in a home office means that you will be less likely to attend meetings, other than virtual ones. This means you have all the time to devote to your tasks. There are also fewer distractions from colleagues who drop by your cubicle and engage in small talk.


The downsides


Perhaps one of the things that made working from home suitable for me is that I have an introverted personality. After taking the 16 Personalities test, I have been classified into the INTJ and INFJ personality types. If you are an extrovert who usually draws energy from interacting with other people, then this type of set-up might not be the best for you. If you’re this kind of person, I suggest you telecommute once in a while or only when needed, and work in an office setting majority of the time.


benefits of working from home Philippines

As a remote employee, I can work anywhere, like at coffee shops and co-working spaces.


And yes, while I may be an introverted person, I do I miss talking to people face to face. There are just nuances in human interaction that can’t be captured in an email or chat, even with emoticons.

Another downside about working from home is that you are dependent on the quality of the internet connection you get from your provider. Though I wish it was faster, my connection is usually sufficient for me to accomplish my tasks. However, there have been times when I had to work in a coffee shop due to technical issues with our provider.

This is why I feel that for the telecommuting law to be effective, Congress should also make sure that Filipinos have access to telecom companies offering fast internet connections. Remote employees could accomplish more if they have blazing-fast internet speed within their reach. But unfortunately, much as I would like that to happen today, I’m afraid it’s altogether a different discussion best reserved for another day.


Time management tips


When you’re working from home, no one is constantly watching over your shoulder. While this may be viewed by some as an advantage, there are disadvantages to it as well. Others think it is free license to do whatever they want, even non-work-related tasks. Others view it as an opportunity to maximize their time to prove that they are worthy of being given telecommuting benefits.


benefits of working from home Philippines

I break down huge tasks to bite-sized chunks with the Pomodoro Technique. (Image: Cirillo Company)


As for me, I manage my time by using the Pomodoro technique. I use an online tomato timer which rings every 25 minutes. Before starting the timer, I write down in an Excel sheet the task which needs to be accomplished within 25 minutes. To prevent eye strain, I look away from my computer for a few minutes before beginning another 25-minute round. At the end of the week, I look down at my daily logs and break down how much time I spent on each task.

I find the Pomodoro technique helpful because it allows me to concentrate on tasks in small time intervals, instead of thinking about them in hours which seems more difficult. It makes one more mindful of minutes spent on a task knowing that these can contribute to accomplishing bigger goals.

Another time management tool that I use is Google Calendar. It’s simple but it works. Before, I used a planner but now, I rely on Google Calendar because it’s more flexible when your plans don’t pan out. I read somewhere that if you don’t carve out time for tasks, you’re bound not to do them anyway even if they’re in your to-do list. And so, using the time estimates I get from my Excel sheet of tasks, I plot out blocks of time for me to work on my to-do’s.


The verdict


Armed with the right mindset and productivity tools, I would say that remote employees can be as effective and productive as their office-based colleagues. Remember that with this kind of work set-up, there’s no one else but you who is accountable for the results.

SHARE this ARTICLE
Facebook Twitter Google+

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon

Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.

This Chic and Sophisticated Unit in QC Can Be Your Next Home

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of ShoppersGuide.com.ph (SG) are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, SG does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

Sending feedback. Please wait...

Your comment has been sent.

Your comment is important to us. ShoppersGuide is now notified and will review the comment you sent.

An error has occurred!

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