Work within the Time of Pandemic – Well being and Way of life

Successfully overcoming challenges and stress at work from home

By Mylene C. Orillo

At some point in our lives we all wished we could work from home so we wouldn’t have to get up early and go home late, endure long hours of commuting and sitting / standing in traffic, and long queues at train stations. I hope we could spend more time with our family.

There is a saying that “watch what you wish for” because when the whole world was hit by a pandemic, we all had to stay at home and do practically everything online. Then it hit us, does work from home really work?

“Working from home is our ‘new’ reality,” said Dr. Anna York Bondoc, a pulmonary and critical care specialist, who spoke about “Guidelines in the New Normal: Dealing with Stress at Work from Home”.

“Our desks used to be close together. People work together and [offices] are usually crowded. A good point to work from home is no longer commuting and it is safer at home. Working from home (WFH) is possible. It can be done [Puwede pala]that has been resisted before, ”she said.

As people still adapt to this “new” reality, it is expected that not too many people, including our families and children, know that WFH is indeed a job. It gets paid and if we don’t work we don’t get paid.

“Husbands expect more from their wives. They come home thinking we’re home all day, why haven’t we cooked or done the dishes yet, or our mother-in-law wonders why we can’t manage our kids but what they haven’t done I don’t know that we also have a full time job … we are just at home. It’s our job, ”said Dr. Bondoc.

Unlike when we go to the office, commuting separates work from home life. When a person goes to work, they leave a restful environment and move into a professional and stressful one. Working in the office separates people from home.

“Home is a place where we can relieve stress. But when a person works from home, the work-life balance is gone. Work is going on in our homes. The 9 to 5 job will be destroyed, WFH will be around the clock, ”explained Dr. Bondoc.

Even before the pandemic, some employers call their employees outside of office hours. However, during this pandemic, post-office conversations worsened as some employers expect their employees to be always connected.

“Some companies call their employees and expect them to respond immediately. Then privacy is lost. When you’re in the office, it’s a separate unit. You can be professional and leave all problems at home. But now people can see your private life on video calls, zoom meetings, etc., ”she pointed out.

Aside from the challenge of staying connected around the clock, there is pressure for this employee to learn new skills (e.g. online), to be more independent and self-motivated.

“The motivation has to come from you now, otherwise nothing will happen. You have to do the work from home and it’s quite stressful. Online environment / meetings are very stressful, very choppy for both the audience and the speakers. The connections are bad. Speakers giving the lecture have a hard time assessing the audience. If meetings aren’t structured, you are wasting so much time. It has to be well planned and well moderated. It is very difficult. Then people tend to eat stress, they don’t exercise. Too much digital. People feel isolated and lonely, ”she said.

Go forward

With WFH becoming the “new” normal, people have no choice but to stick to and adapt to it. Dr. Bondoc gave some tips to successfully cope with the challenges and stresses of WFH.

“There should be mutual communication between the boss and the employee. Managers should explain the goals and results so employees know what to expect. Stick to a schedule. Determine a job, ”said Dr. Bondoc.

However, she advised people not to use their beds as workplaces anymore. “Do not do that! Don’t bring your work to your bed. It will disturb your sleep. Separate work and sleeping space. This is your place of work and you should mean business. Ask your children / families to respect your workplace. “

In terms of technology, Dr. Bondoc announced that some elderly people are concerned about being excluded from the technology.

“Technology is just a tool. What is important is your knowledge of the job and what you are doing with the subject. Technology will always be there, but it won’t give us a brain. What to do with it depends on us, ”she said.

While it may seem that “techie” (someone who knows or is passionate about technology) gives young people an edge these days, Dr. Bondoc something else. “For younger people, knowing zoom or technology doesn’t make you a genius. You still have to put the time and effort into what you do. “

Your health is important

One of the disadvantages of WFH is the tendency to sit in front of computers or laptops all day. Studies have shown that sitting or lying down for too long increases the risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease. It can also be bad for your mental health. In fact, health professionals have been calling sitting a “new smoking” habit for too long.

“Take some time for yourself. Exercise! Try to exercise twice a week. Set the correct meal times. The primary immunity comes from your diet. What do you eat? Lasagna, ube pandesal? Eat a balanced diet: protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Vitamins for immunity are D, E, zinc. One multivitamin a day is more than enough. Good nutrition, proper exercise and enough sleep.

Try to normalize your sleep time, “she said.

Dr. In addition to taking care of physical health, Bondoc reminded everyone to provide “quality” leisure time for the family. “Talk to your husband. Play with your kids. Talk to your friends or colleagues, sisters, cousins ​​and bosses. Try to talk to someone. Physical distancing, not social distancing. “

She also warned everyone against using too much social media as it can be the source of anxiety as well. “Social media is a form of advertising. Whatever we post, it’s the best version of us. They tweak it so it looks better than it actually is. “

Dr. Bondoc confirmed that it is normal to feel sad, depressed, anxious and hopeless amid the coronavirus pandemic. “If you don’t feel anything, your heart is made of stone. Everyone is depressed and a little worried. You will go through ups and downs during this pandemic. There are times when you are advised, other times when you need advice. Practice patience and kindness. Be thankful. Look for strength in other people. “

After all, the coronavirus is a new disease. While no one is documented to contract COVID twice, Dr. Bondoc that it is still best to take care of yourself. “Anyone can get COVID. If you need to go out, please wear masks, sanitize, and practice social distancing. Please show compassion and respect. Change to house clothes and slippers when you go home. “

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