Your Ultimate Guide to Working from Home

By Paula Delos Reyes, Contributor

#WFHGuide #WFHComfortably #CandidateGuide #JobHuntingTips

Work from home comfortably: Tips on setting up your home office, looking after your wellbeing, and finding work from home jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way we work. Times have changed and the conditions for finding jobs and even its availability may have changed. Rest assured that we at Workbank are dedicated to connecting employees and employers, and supporting the Filipino workforce in every way that we can.

Having a job that lets you work from home is a wonderful thing.

As we continue to brace through the pandemic, we find ourselves in our new, next, and never normal. We are thankful we can keep doing our work through telecommuting—we can still put food on the table and roofs above our heads while keeping our family safe.

While separating our personal life from the professional can be challenging when the days just bleed into each other, we can still make the most out of our work-from-home situation. Read our advice on how to telecommute comfortably, feel excited about work, and minimize burnout.

If you’re not yet working from home but want to, stay with us—we have tips for you, too!

How to work from home comfortably: Tips on setting up your home office

If you are already working from home, here are some ways you can make things better for you.

1. Dedicate a workspace where you can focus

Pick a corner where there’s minimal distraction and you can concentrate on getting things done at work. Choose a space where you can take calls quietly.

2. Make it ergonomic for your eyes

Place your laptop or monitor slightly below eye level to avoid eyestrain.

3. Get an office chair if you can

Your back will thank you for it. Wellness experts say that you are as old as your spine, so get a comfortable chair that provides good lumbar support. This way, your back won’t hurt even if you sit down for hours (just like at the office). As an alternative, you can also work standing for at least 15 minutes every hour to release some pressure from your spine.

4. Clean your desk and remove clutter…

By clean, we mean wiping off the dust every day. We can’t stress the importance of good hygiene enough. Avoid allergic rhinitis, flu, and even getting bitten by dust mites. Germs, bacteria, and viruses should not be welcome at your desk.

Keep your area clutter-free by keeping things in their own “homes” when not in use. Your desk should only have the things you need for your work. As much as you can, keep your laptop and phone chargers out of site. Having a clear desk minimizes the distraction and allows you to think better.

5. …but have all the tools that you need for working from home within reach

Whether it’s your headset, the latest software, or coffee. Set up your table near an outlet so you can plug in your laptop and mobile phone anytime.

6. Spruce up your workplace

According to evidence-based design, it shows that spaces with views of plants or nature have positive effects in a person’s recovery and rehabilitation. Brighten up your mood and feel better by taking care of some low-maintenance indoor plants.

7. Keep it cool

Both you and your laptop, that is.

For humans: In a tropical country like ours, using an aircon or electric fan during the day is imperative. Hydrate to stay refreshed.

For laptops: Avoid overheating your laptop. Check the vents and make sure these are not blocked, especially if you are working from your bed or sofa, and your laptop is not on a desk or cooling pad.

8. Check your internet connection

Maintain your sanity by ensuring your internet connection is fast, reliable, and will not disconnect during an important call. It’s easier to work when you’re not interrupted by pages that aren’t loading or heavy files that you cannot attach.

Pro tip: If you have an online meeting and your internet connection isn’t as fast as you need it to be, request the people in your house to free up the bandwidth while you’re on the call.

9. Dress comfortably

The work-from-home situation allows us to dress as we please most of the time. Even if you won’t be appearing in video calls or Zoom meetings, wear clothes that allows you to work comfortably. This will be different for everyone—some can work better in cotton shirts while some would prefer to dress up. Choose what works for you.

While it’s tempting to switch our laptops on and go straight to work when we wake up, it would be healthier to take a shower first and change clothes. This way, you are introducing a switch to your body, signaling it that it’s now time to work. Do the same at night to signal your body that it’s time to rest and you can now mentally log off from work.

How to work from home comfortably: Looking after your wellbeing while finding work habits that work for you

1. Wake up fresh and start early or on time

You can get more things done when you start work before the rest of the world wakes up. Morning people will rejoice, but what about the night owls? Find a work schedule that will work both for you and your office or clients. If the hours are fixed, stay true to your online hours.

2. End work on time

In the same way, disconnect when you’ve completed your tasks for the day. Now that the wall between office life and work life is becoming less visible, it would be your call when to log off. Just make sure you don’t leave any work pending, as you would in your office.

3. Make a to-do list

Have a clear picture of what your tasks are for the day, week, and even month. This will help you set priorities and focus on what needs immediate attention. Check your to-do list in the morning when you start your workday and tick off items as you complete each task (and enjoy the satisfying feeling of clearing tasks!). Revisit it at the end of the day to see what you’ve accomplished, and at the same time create a work strategy for the day ahead.

4. Close. Your. Tabs.

Remove the mental clutter (all those social media, games and online shopping sites!) and get more done.

5. Stay connected but know when to disconnect

Work-life balance has evolved and can get tricky at times. Knowing work expectations can help you manage your time, workload, and bandwidth. Being responsible at work means not leaving any task hanging, but also knowing when to call it a day. Be assured that you’re not expected to be always on, and you can disconnect when you need to.

6. Get the support you need

Whether it’s the tech support in your office or your teammates, get help when you need it. We’re all in this together!

7. Find your workflow

We embrace diversity. There’s no one size fits all mold for the best way to work, but you can find your own flow. Do you work better early in the morning or late in the afternoon? Are you a creative spirit who thrives on cramming at the last minute? Understand when you work best and maximize this time. Use your lean hours for tasks that need little attention.

8. Prepare for your meetings

As with attending meetings in the physical realm, get acquainted with the agenda. If you are presenting, make sure everything is ready. Check your internet connection prior to the call to avoid getting disconnected especially at crucial times.

9. Work with integrity, work with dignity

Not everyone is fortunate to have a job right now. Help your company stay afloat during this difficult time by doing good, honest work, even when no one is looking.

10. Set limits on what you can do

The world is forgiving. We know you want to be productive, so use your time well to avoid burnout. Maximize your day by dedicating it to tasks you can accomplish.

Self-care while working from home

1. Find a wellness routine including skincare and exercise

Do things that will make you feel good and healthy.

2. Drink enough water, eat the right food

Take care of your body by consuming the good stuff. We can think better when we are healthy human beings.

3. Take your vitamins

Especially now that we are still bracing through the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow your doctor’s advice and take enough of the vitamins you need, according to the recommended dosage. Don’t overdo it as this might cause more serious health problems.*

*We are not medical professionals. Please follow your physician’s advice.

4. Read or watch the news, but

Turn it off when you know it’s not healthy for you anymore.

5. Find ways to grow

Working from home doesn’t mean we would limit ourselves on what we can and cannot do. Take trainings to learn new skills and prepare for the future. We would like to think that we will emerge from this pandemic strong!

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself

When you feel down or cannot seem to find the inspiration to log in for the day, take a leave. We may not be able to vacation physically, but we can (and should) take a break mentally.

7. Make time to do the fun stuff

Do things that make you feel happy—whether it’s watching Netflix, practicing yoga, or baking some cookies. It can also be reading a book or dancing to the latest K-pop trend. The possibilities are endless!

8. Disconnect from work, people, and even technology

Take some “me time” to recharge. Like what we said earlier, it’s ok to be not always on.

9. Rest

No one can stop you from being unstoppable, but take breaks or power naps when you need to.

10. Breathe

Especially when things get overwhelming. Acknowledge that there are things that may limit us now, and at the same time remember that we can overcome.

Your current company is gearing up to go back to the office and you’re not quite ready?

It’s perfectly normal to want to stay home and explore work-from-home opportunities. Edit your Workbank profile and choose “Work from Home” as your preferred work location. This will get you job matches that will allow you to telecommute and stay safe in your home. Of course, you can pursue work-from-home jobs more actively by clicking the button below.

I want to work from home

Need more helpful job advice in navigating our new normal? Check out our careers blog.