How It Feels to Work from Home

I used to think I wasn't cut-out for the corporate world because I didn't have the guts to withstand its sometimes conniving nature. However, I am fortunate because the two instances I have delved into the corporate world weren't horrible at all. I give all credits to my colleagues especially the ones I have recently left.

I consider them as my younger sisters. Working with them was a pleasure because they were so eager to learn. No project was big enough to terrify me because I knew a talented yet surprisingly down-to-earth team would back me up. As much as I love working with these people, I have to surrender my role because I have to help Mama in putting up another Montessori school.

No longer a corporate slave…for now

My manager in my previous company permitted me to handle my projects from home. Furthermore, after two years of writing remotely for a  particular publication, I have transferred to another news company. It's still based in New York but its system allows more flexibility. Lastly, I have started graduate school.

I wish I can just read all day while ransacking our refrigerator/kitchen cupboard but no, my workload became heavier. I am happier and more productive though. Instead of spending six hours on the road each day, I get to spend these precious hours doing my tasks. Since I always miss my former office and my coffee-kwek kwek sessions with my girls, I make it a point to work there at least twice a month.

Having this kind of setup entails diligence. There's so much work to do and I am terrible in time management, but realizing the rarity of these opportunities motivates me to stay disciplined. If you're thinking of working remotely too, here are some tips from an amateur:

 Stick to a routine but be prepared to incorporate small changes to avoid burnout

Working remotely equates to controlling your time, but adhering to a schedule is helpful if you have too much on your plate. After eating breakfast, I allot the first three hours managing projects for my former company. My afternoon goes to doing tasks for the Montessori as well as studying. Evenings are for writing. Don’t be hard on yourself. If you have finished early, you may squeeze in a few chapters of a book, watch an episode or two of Game of Thrones, or fawn over your dogs. If I have to meet people outside, I adjust my schedule accordingly.

Dress the part

We all have our lazy days and although it is comfortable to lounge around in pajamas, taking a bath and putting on a nice pambahay can somehow jump start your day. Dressing the part also prepares you for sudden errands outside.

Have a lovely home office

This is something I have to work on. I do have the thingamajigs (good view from the window, wicker chair, printer/scanner, a pair of speakers, a bunch of photo frames, a set of multi-colored Schneider pens, etc.) but one of my dogs likes to sleep on my table when I'm working, that's why things can be chaotic. Here's a peg from Zoella's blog.

Have a change in scenery at times

Changing our setting does wonders for our creative juices. The wonderful part of working remotely is it doesn't matter where you are as long as you turn in your deliverables on time. If you feel uninspired, you can try a coffee shop or even stay in a beach house.

Always keep your communication lines open

Remember that you've been blessed with this setup because your superiors and colleagues trust you. Don't let them think that they made the wrong decision. If you're out, make sure your phone's Skype, Viber, and/or Whatsapp are online. If you're going on a vacation, inform everyone that you may only be reached at a particular time (when outside the country, I tell my colleagues that I only have access to emails between 10 p.m. and midnight).

Don't disregard the legal aspect

It will be months before I go back to the corporate world and I can't disregard the legal aspects of this setup such as taxes, SSS, and other government funds. Ask the help of a professional in sorting out these things for you. Don't let astronomical penalties surprise you in exchange of being complacent (happened to me).

If you have other best practices, please share them below. I will be grateful!

"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it fullspeed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, live it, and above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." - Roald Dahl