Working from home has long been considered a luxury for people in privileged positions earn, whether they come by it through an individual enterprise or by climbing high up enough the corporate ladder that they can make other people change out of their pajamas and run around to make ends meet. Still, even though there is an undeniable element of privilege, even indolence, in being able to work on reports (or Preen.ph articles the day before they’re due, cough) in the same outfit you rolled out of bed in, there’s an element of risk as well.
Because of course there is.
A 2017 research conducted by the International Labor Union found that the tradeoff may not be worth it for the vast majority of employees. Those engaged in telework and information and communications technologies-mobile (T/ICTM)-related arrangements are often found to be subject to an assortment of stressors such as the intrusion of work on personal boundaries, having to produce output well outside regular hours, a reduced ability to focus on tasks and, quite simply put, being stuck in the same routines day in and day out with few things to break the monotony!
The same study derived conclusions from an aggregate of samples from 15 countries across all continents. The Philippines wasn’t one of the countries evaluated but given the diversity of respondents, it’s safe to say that the findings are relatively free of cultural or societal biases.
What I’m trying to get at, to put it very politely, is that people who say that workers who get to work from home have no right to complain are full of cow doodoo.
It’s okay to feel bummed about the fact that you’re stuck at home and that you feel like you’re stuck in some sort of weird temporal mush-pile where boundaries are indefinite and the linear progression of time has turned into some gaudy, Gordian pretzel.
It’s okay to feel frustrated about the uncertainties and inconveniences that have become the hallmark of life in extended quarantine, the same things that everyone’s taken to calling “the new normal” as if, God forbid, this is going to become the new normal for years onward.
It’s okay to feel burned out.
May 1 is Labor Day in the Philippines. This is an event that celebrates the dutiful laborer and thanks each and every one for their commitment and effort. You, reader, are that laborer—so thank you. Don’t let other people tell your story for you; ups and downs and in-betweens, they’re for you to figure out, experience, and grow from.
There are all sorts of ways you can keep from experiencing the worst of what comes with your daily routine:
Set up regular work hours, and if someone tries to get you to overstay by even 30 minutes, file for overtime (if you can).
Dedicate workspaces so you don’t have to compromise the places where you’re supposed to be relaxed and safe.
Exercise! I’m hesitant about this but it’s supposed to help.
Keep in touch with people that you love, and that love you in return; we might need to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t socialize.
Remember that you are a strong person for having come as far as you have, regardless of what other people think.