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  • Parents Have It Tougher These Days, But Some Won't Give Up Working From Home

    This type of work arrangement can be a win-win situation for employers and employees.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
Parents Have It Tougher These Days, But Some Won't Give Up Working From Home
PHOTO BY Pexels
  • Remote work used to be just an option to address the worsening traffic congestion in urban areas until the COVID-19 pandemic this 2020. Suddenly, and rightfully so, it became the norm in many companies because of work-at-home advantages.

    The work-at-home arrangement benefits both employers and employees. Former Meralco human resources senior vice-president and head Ramon Segismundo, DBA, points out, “If done right and depending on circumstances, work and family life integration results in happier and healthier individuals.”

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    Work-at-home advantages

    Several outbreak investigation reports have shown that transmission of the dreaded disease caused by the novel coronavirus is particularly effective in crowded and confined places such as offices. That’s why health officials in many countries advise their citizens to stay at home as much as possible and, when going out, wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

    Less stress especially when you're in the middle of a pandemic 

    “This work arrangement of work from home has given me a sense of relief and peace, knowing that I can work effectively while being safe with my family. It has lessened my anxiety during this period of high stress and uncertainty,” says Lala Leal-Del Corro, who works as an operations area manager at a major fast-food chain. 

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    “It motivates me to put extra effort and go the extra mile for my work, as I know that my company is taking good care of me. I feel blessed to be in a company that has put high regards to people safety.”

    No more dreaded commutes

    Manila has the world’s second worst traffic congestion, according to the Traffic Index 2019 by TomTom, an independent location, navigation, and map technology specialist that also ranks congestion in cities globally. The Philippine capital city’s congestion level reaches 71 percent, which means drivers spend an average of 71 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic. 

    The survey was released in January 2020, about two months before the government imposed lockdown to hopefully contain the spread of the dreaded disease. Traffic congestion dramatically dropped during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), but started picking up again when restrictions on transportation and mobility started easing.

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    Increased productivity

    Being productive, explains Dr. Segismundo, “is a function of personal discipline and whether the organization is supportive of it.” The executive coach and owner of a human resources consulting company adds that such support can be made through providing devices and internet subscriptions. 

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    It also means having “work stuff gets done faster,” notes Ruby Rull-Tungul, who works as assistant vice-president and strategic business unit head of a retail company. “Since no one will approach for a short discussion or consultation.” 

    Fellow work-from-home mom Lala agrees, “I become more productive at work since I have become more ready — physically, mentally, and emotionally — to handle the responsibilities of my job. By staying at home, I am no longer stressed by the threat of the virus, and I am spared from the physical fatigue of the long travel time of going to work due to traffic.”

    More family time

    One of the work-at-home advantages is allowing moms like Ruby to enjoy family bonding with her husband Jun Tungul and their two kids Miguel, 12, and Rafaelle, 9. She happily reports, “I get to eat lunch and dinner with my family. Before ECQ, I always eat dinner alone as I get home around 9 p.m. already due to traffic.”

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    For her part, Lala can take care of the needs of her husband Adolfh, who also works from home, and their only child Arianne, 21. “These needs vary from our basic needs, like meals and laundry, to the more complex needs, like wanting to be in a state of managed worries and fears during this pandemic. Being able to do all of this, on top of my work demands, has surely given me a great feeling of fulfillment as a working mother.” 

    Opportunity to learn a new hobby

    With extra time on her hands as a result of work at home advantages, Ruby learned how to bake breads and cookies. This newfound hobby eventually led her to accepting orders and opening a food business.

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