Posted on April 15, 2021
From the honks and beeps of EDSA to the crows of a rooster in the morning, from the substandard dishes that you cooked yourself to your mom’s home cooked meal, from the reliable internet connection to the “sorry you’re on mute”; these are just a few of the contrasts about working from home in a city like Manila as compared to working from home in a province. Things that Criscia Bonoan, one of our business analysts has been experiencing.
It had already been more than a year since the first lockdown was imposed in the Philippines. During that time, Criscia had been in Manila for the first 7 months, and had been in Quezon province for the next 6 months until the moment of this writing. She had both experienced the adverse effects of the work from home setup—the struggles, the freedom, the frustrations, the anxiety and everything that it has to offer.
When asked about the most common challenge that she had been facing, Cricia stated that initially, she found herself working all the time since there was no clear distinction between work and home. As a BA with a lot of deadlines, she couldn’t just leave the work unfinished when she’s aware that the deadlines are coming sooner rather than later. According to her, she found that it can be resolved with proper time management and self imposing a strict schedule like the one she had in the office.
As for working from home in the city as opposed to in the province, she said that there is such a stark difference. For once, she could focus more on her work when she’s back in Quezon. She didn’t have to worry about her meals because her loving mom graciously cooks for them. She didn’t have to pay rent as well. The heavy burden of looking after yourself such as going to the grocery store or else there’s no food on the table was also lifted from her shoulders.
More importantly, since the cases in the province are lesser compared to Metro Manila, Cricia shared that the anxiety had significantly reduced. The restrictions both imposed by the local government units and ones that she imposed on herself have greatly been alleviated as well. In Manila, she couldn’t go outside at all except when she needed to buy essentials. But in the province, she was more free to go out. Needless to say, she was still being responsible with the health protocols. Since working from home doesn’t require her to commute, she said that it helped with the anxiety of interacting with so many people and even possibly contracting the virus on her way to work.
Albeit the common difficulties like proper internet connection and burn out, Cricia said that should the lockdown and pandemic where to go on for another year, she is more mentally prepared to brave it. Like any of us, she does hope for everything to go back to normal and to learn further about her work and more. As we can all see, the trend towards work from home isn’t slowing down. If anything, it’s gaining speed and employers who consider how remote work and increased flexibility fit into their organization and how they can meet the challenges of managing a more complex, hybrid workforce position themselves for success.