The Truths About WFH During Mandatory Self-Isolation
On common pitfalls and what you can do to keep your sanity in check
Work from home—or at least flexible work hours—is a setup not many are lucky to have. It’s the weary commuter’s dream, a desired option for young families. And while I am grateful to have this option (and to still have a job), working from home, especially during uncertain times, is not exactly the stuff of dreams.
Here, we talk about potential challenges and discuss what we can all do to keep our sanity in check.
Count Your Blessings
As of this writing, I’ve been in ten (or more, lost track) Zoom calls, not counting spontaneous 10 to 20-minute consultations and debriefings with workmates. As I virtually attend or hold meetings in a 55 sqm. flat occupied by three human beings, there’s a 5-year-old clinging to my leg, tapping my shoulder to watch what he’s watching or screaming in the background.
There’s definitely more time for family 😏 Before mandatory self-isolation and WFH advisories were made, I would spend a little over nine hours at work and about six hours a day at home.
So, when the four walls start to close in (because they will), it helps to count the things you’re grateful for, like having a roof over your head or the savings you’ll make just by staying in, which you can reallocate for something else or donate (scroll further down to learn more) to a cause should you have the extra cash.
Mind The Boundaries
It’s really important to have a routine as you would pre-lockdown. Clock in at the dining table-turned-transient office and clock out to wherever else in your space when the day’s done. But at some point, and as we’ve learned from remote workers doing this for quite some time, work-life balance can become a mess. It can be easier to lose track of time because we associate home with family or friends, leisure or rest.
Be wary of this by keeping your work hours fixed to help you focus on the tasks at hand. And as comfortable as it sounds, don’t work in your pajamas. (I tried this once and found it hard to take a bath at the end of the day because…I was already in my pajamas).
Interact For Good Health
With #StayAtHome as the new normal, face-to-face interactions may be far and few between, especially when you live alone. For some, being in isolation can make them more vulnerable to loneliness and depression.
Make an effort to keep social interactions going—even when F2F is limited to video calls for now. And even when you prefer not to. Commit to a virtual non-work, non-coronavirus-related social interaction at least once or twice a week. It’ll do wonders for your well-being.
No two WFH experiences are alike and remote work challenges vary from person to person. But it’s important to remember the common pitfalls to help steer you away from hard-to-get-out-of low phases and keep that headspace in check.
Got resources to spare? Consider donating to the following causes:
- Office of the Vice President: Assistance for frontliners
- Philippine General Hospital: Call for PPE and 70% ethyl alcohol
- Angkas: Donation drive for healthcare workers
- Ateneo de Manila University: Cash donations for frontliners
- Caritas Manila: Donations for survival kits and food bags for the underprivileged
- Bela Padilla: Pagkain para sa Pinoy drive for street vendors
Art Alexandra Lara