Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Home Positive Living 3 Career Moms Weigh in on Their Work-From-Home Setup

3 Career Moms Weigh in on Their Work-From-Home Setup

Plus— would they go back to the office?

For the perennially busy working mom, the Work-From-Home (WFH) setup that resulted from the lockdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19 is an obvious blessing: No more waking up early to commute, no more sacrificing after-office hours and weekends to catch up on deadlines, and definitely no more office OOTDs!

But reporting to an office actually has its advantages, too. Three career moms share with My Pope Philippines the realities of their WFH experience and whether they would go back to an office once the pandemic is over. (Read: Senator Proposes 10-Day Paid Leave for COVID-Positive Employees)

Josephine P. Macabe, Media Review Analyst, 30

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Working while spending time with her 3-year-old toddler, Jayce Arkin (right), is one of the WFH perks of Josephine P. Macabe. (Photo courtesy of subject)

Please describe your WFH setup.

My WFH setup changes every two months due to VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections. It’s either Monday to Friday from 4 pm to 1 am or Sunday to Thursday, from 11 am to 8 pm. The company provides us with laptops. When we were at the office, we had a fixed schedule from Monday to Friday, midnight shift from 2 pm to 11 pm or graveyard shift from 11:30 pm to 8:30 am.

Name three pros and cons to WFH.

Pros: I save time and money because I don’t have to prepare to go to work early and commute. As a mom, I have the opportunity to take care of my son. (Read: These Bite-Size Snacks Can Improve Work Productivity at Home)

Cons: The slow VPN connection interrupts our work. It takes some time to answer colleagues’ confusion and questions at work due to the virtual setup. Sometimes, I can’t focus because my son is a toddler and is very energetic and adventurous.

What do you miss about working in the office?

I miss talking to my officemates and our team activities. When this pandemic is over, even if I like working from home better, I still believe that it’s more appropriate to work in the office, to separate work hours from personal hours.

Honey Queencie C. Muta, Media Relations Officer, 41

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(Left) Honey Muta has two ways to at home: with a laptop that she can use anywhere in the house, and a desktop computer in the living room. (Right) The working mom with partner Rowel (left) and 12-year-old daughter Michiko (center) (Photos courtesy of subject)

Please describe your WFH setup.

We still have the same eight-hour work schedule from 9 am to 6 pm. But when we started WFH during ECQ in March 2020, I took the initiative to wake up early to check my emails, as we did not have stable internet connection for the first two months. I have two working stations: a laptop in the living room for virtual meetings and webinars, and my personal desktop computer upstairs in our bedroom. (Read: 5 Ways to Cope With Burnout While Working From Home)

Are you able to help your daughter with online learning?

It’s no different from when she was attending face-to-face classes. She’s adapted very well to the new normal learning. I give credit to her former special class school section that molded her to be more proactive and focused on her studies, as well as her teachers, who taught her to be interactive, creative, confident, and always strive for academic excellence, great personality, and good values formation.

What do you miss about working in the office? 

I miss the personal, face-to-face interactions with my officemates and superiors— people who are my friends and whom I totally rely on and trust.  But I must consider my safety and health first for my family before I consider going back to the office, as vaccines are not yet provided to economic front-liners.

Riza Maranan, Banker and Freelance Writer, 55

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(Left) Comfy in her dog-themed T-shirt, the banker in her WFH setup in the bedroom (Right) Banker and freelance writer Riza Maranan (right) with her eldest, 22-year-old digital artist and social media influencer Gari (Photos courtesy of subject)

Please describe your WFH setup.

My office hours are from 8 am to 5 pm, Mondays to Fridays. I stay inside a bedroom I share with my daughter, and I work mostly on my bed with a computer table bought from an online store. I use the company-provided laptop, my personal iPad, and my smartphone. I pay for my internet and had to upgrade the plan as my son also works from home and my daughter attends online classes.

Are you able to help your kids with online learning?

My daughter in college can manage online schooling. Since we share a bedroom, it’s a challenge when I have meetings and she has her exams. She needs her peace and quiet so I work near the kitchen or in my son’s bedroom. (Read: LandBank Now Allows P50,000 Loan for Online Class Gadgets)

What do you miss about working in the office?

Face-to-face meetings with people, coaching your teams and seeing their faces, reactions, and body language. Yes, I would go back, but twice or thrice a week only. Being at home gives us cabin fever!

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