[7 Tips] Tired of WFH In Manila? How to Do Better at Home

Absolutely liking your WFH setup but destroying your productivity?

We sit at our desks, our minds wander to lots of things, and end up scrolling our Instagram for hours; we end our day asking, What did I do all day?

Our ‘Work from Home’ setup is quite beneficial for us if you think about it: The long hours of queueing at the MRT Ayala Station or sitting in EDSA’s traffic jam for almost half a day is unproductive. You know better, these long commute hours could be spent on more important things like an extra hour of sleep or spending more time with your loved ones. Working from home also means we get the option to wear our comfy puruntong while in zoom meetings.

As favorable WFH for us is, our home can be infested with distractions, leaving our work’s quality sacrificed. We need to be accomplishing tasks to make us happy too, but how do we do this with the temptation to curl on our beds, scroll our IG mindlessly, or catch an episode of Bridgerton during work hours? We end up working longer hours to make up for the time lost.

It’s easy to blame late submission of outputs all to yourself, but these distractions aren’t entirely your fault. The nature of a ‘real’ office helps you toggle on your’ work mode,’ such as suiting up or commuting to the tall building of BGC, transitions you to get ready for work. We lose this routine that switches our gears when we work from home. The place to rest now becomes a workplace, leaving our psyche confused and making it hard to focus and deliver. Favorably, we don’t have to brave our Makati office just to prevent distractions and unlock work mode at home. The solution to your WFH woes is much simpler than you think; hint: no, it’s not another peppermint-scented candle for focus. We’ve listed your top WFH distraction and shared secrets to help you beat them.

💺 Tip #1: Dedicate an area for work.

Designating a place for work lets you instantly turn on your work vibe when you step in and turn off the moment you step away, just like how you feel when seeing your office’s desk. The same signal goes for the rest of your household.

You can do this by finding a comfortable spot in your house; your bodega room is a great choice to give you privacy from the rest of the household. Your bedroom or the living room is a good alternative if you don’t have a spare room, given that you place your desks away from potential distractions like the television or the bed.

📚 Tip #2: Stack books or boxes until you reach your laptop’s eye level.

Most WFH employees experience neck and back pain because of looking downward on our screens for hours, all the more painful for those of us who work at least 8 hours per day. Aches can be annoying throughout the day, making us feel spent quickly. 

Whether you cram in your lamesita or perhaps a large table as your designated workspace, you can prevent these aches from progressing by placing your laptops to eye level using a stack of books or boxes.

⏱ Tip #3: Use the Pomodoro Technique to lock focus, track work and break time.

There’s a lot of work, but not much gets done because we give in to distractions lurking around: we scroll our Facebook for hours; we tune in as Vicenzo fights for justice during work, or we get lots of siestas even before noon comes. These distractions are eating up work time, so we work longer hours, stealing away time for other essential things in our life.

Too little or too much of everything can be harmful; allocate healthy portions of your precious time for work and break using a Pomodoro timer. Using a timer creates a sense of urgency to start the task and do it quickly. It further amplifies you to finish the task with the anticipation of a break after the time’s up. These accomplished tasks fuels you to accomplish more task and keep productivity’s momentum.

💻 Tip #4: If you don’t have a pomodoro timer, you can make use of a pomodoro app. 

However, this might encourage more temptation as you browse the web. You’d want to spend more time offline and not staring at your laptop/smartphone screen. Brainstorming with pen and paper FTW!

⏰ Tip #5: Keep an alarm clock to remind you of important schedules.

We want to stay on top of our schedules, especially when juggling multiple roles of being a WFH employee, a parent (or a fur parent), or a business owner.

By scheduling your productivity, you’re able to give 100% to work or play, depending on the time of day.

You’ll want to mark when it’s time to start or cap off the workday, using an alarm clock.

📲 Tip #6: Use your phone’s alarm clock to keep track of time.

The same thing might happen with tip #4.

🔬 Tip #7: Use a leather mat to make your desk look 10x more professional.

Protect your desk from the scratching, scraping, and constant pounding of your laptops. A leather mat makes for a smooth surface for your palms when typing, drawing, or writing and doubles as a mouse pad as well.

The desk mat makes your workspace more distinguished from the rest of your living space. The professional and clean look it gives off your desk makes it more encouraging to work at.

Over to You

Our workspaces at home have so much to do with our productivity. You want to seek help from tools that are designed to make you more productive at your workspace away from the office.

Ready to make your desk look 10x more professional? See the supersized mouse pad (aka desk mat).

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