Many companies in the Philippines have been in a remote work setup since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Health experts say that significant changes in work routine and structure may cause stress among professionals and even a possible drop in productivity. According to Christopher M. Palmer, MD, director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital in the U.S., “Whenever people’s routines change significantly or expectations change, it stresses people. That’s the way our bodies work.”
“Nung una, nakaka-excite mag-work sa bahay dahil naisip ko mas marami akong time gawin ang iba’t-ibang bagay like pag-aasikaso sa mga kids at pag-aayos ng bahay. But, as time passes by, ang toxic na niya. Hindi na ako nakakakain sa tamang oras, mas tutok ako sa laptop at mobile phone ng mahabang oras, at dahil lagi rin nakaupo laging sumasakit ang likod at ulo ko at nahihirapan din akong matulog sa gabi. Madalas pa, kahit after office hours, we are expected to respond sa email or text messages ng team leader namin dahil iniisip nila na naka-work from home naman dapat makareply agad.”, Geraldine, 24, Admin Assistant
Remote work has become the new trend these days and the prolonged working hours and lack of physical activities have caused several employees to experience backaches, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia or other issues, which in other words, has taken a toll on everyone’s physical and mental health.
“Ako, as a working parent kasama ko rin ang mom ko sa bahay, napakalaking challenge yung pagsabayin ko yung schedule ng work and asikaso sa kids- tutoring them and attending to their needs. Lalo na nun magkasakit ang mother ko, na akala namin COVID na. Mahirap...mahirap talaga.” Jean, 28, Manager
Pero paano mo malalaman kung stressed ka na talaga? Some signs of this so-called WFH ‘burnout’ are:
1. You don’t feel excited to wake up and get ready for work.
2. You are less likely to participate in brainstorming or meetings.
3. You are unhappy.
4. You get tired and exhausted easily.
If you’re feeling stressed and you think it’s affecting you physically and mentally (and even emotionally), pause for a moment and know when to pull the brakes. You need to come up with coping methods such as:
1. Set a time schedule. You need to find the balance. Huwag sagarin kung pagod ka na. Working for extended hours does not mean you are productive.
2. Breathe in and out. Relax. Make sure to stretch every 30 minutes to lessen the harm of sedentary behavior.
3. Have a hobby. Do something that will make you happy. Read an interesting book or watch a movie online.
4. Have a regular sleeping pattern. An 8-hour sleep can make your body and mind feel rested.
5. Avoid multitasking. Hindi ka si Wonder Woman. Work when you’re supposed to work. Doing things one at a time can make you more efficient.
6. Turn off all distractions. Keep your working area clean and organized. It can help you focus more and allow you to get things done easily.
7. Achieve peace of mind. Having a calm and peaceful mind helps you think straight.
Kung akala mo na simpleng kawalan lang ng gana sa trabaho pananakit lang ng likod ang WFH burnout, nagkakamali ka. In an article released by Forbes.com, it is mentioned that ‘burnout is known to cause a litany of serious physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death’. Ang pagtigil sa bahay ay maaaring makaiwas sa COVID-19 ngunit hindi ito guarantee na makakaiwas ka na rin sa ibang malubhang sakit.
Your WFH setup is not an excuse to stop looking towards the future or delay you or your family’s security. Now that businesses and consumers have increasingly “gone digital” in the new normal by providing and purchasing more goods and services online, there’s an easier and safer way to get you and your loved ones covered. You can #redirect your life for the better right in the comfort of your own home.
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