Nowadays, working from home is the new normal, especially with the present threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once adopted by only a handful of companies is now a growing trend that aims to minimize the effect of the current crisis. With no clear idea as to how long this situation will last, how are companies, like Lexcode, coping with its employees working remotely? How will this trend change the company’s work arrangement in the future?
Keeping Lexcodians in Mind
Lexcode has always considered work-from-home an option for its employees who constantly struggle with Metro Manila traffic every day. The situation peaked last year when Manila hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which compelled the company to think of solutions that address employees’ concerns regarding the stressful and time-consuming commute while keeping the business running. Having considered the interests of both the company and employees, management proposed the institutionalization of work-from-home arrangement in early January.
Kate, Lexcode’s administrative officer, said, “The main goal of the policy is to help ease the stress when traveling and allow employees to practice accountability and transparency when performing their job with minimal or no supervision.”
For the past months, Lexcode has provided its employees with all the equipment and software necessary for working remotely. The company’s management believes that equipping employees with the right tools is essential to make the work-from-home arrangement successful.
Advantages of Work-from-Home
It has been a month since Lexcode imposed a mandatory work-from-home arrangement, and we’ve interviewed some Lexcodians to see how they have adjusted to the new setup.
One significant advantage for Jullia, a project coordinator, is being able to skip the long commute to work. “With this, you also get to avoid traffic, pollution, and stress while commuting, and in return, save more money,” she added. For Grace, a desktop publisher, skipping the commute means having more time for herself and fewer chances of being late for work.
Jullia’s workspace in her home in Cavite
For Mandy, the company’s marketing coordinator, and Myr, a TM encoder, working remotely allows them to enjoy home-cooked meals more often. Despite having various food choices around the office, nothing beats their mothers’ cooking. Eating at home also guarantees fewer expenses and healthier options.
Grace, who prefers to work with music playing in the background, enjoys having control of her personal space without worrying about distracting her coworkers. The same goes for Myr, who has also been more productive throughout the day.
Mandy also mentioned that the new setup taught him to work more independently. “When you’re in the office, it’s so easy to ask your coworkers questions when you’re experiencing a problem, but at home, you start to look for solutions on your own because you begin to value their time to the point that you wouldn’t want to disturb them anymore,” he said.
Mandy’s workspace in his home in Cavite
Disadvantages of Work-from-Home
However, working from home is not all sunshine and rainbows. Most Lexcodians encounter slow internet speed, which is a common issue encountered by those working remotely. According to Mandy, “For someone whose work is purely digital, having a slow internet connection can sometimes disrupt project deadlines or even my motivation to work.”
Myr and Jullia also pointed out the struggle with distractions at home. Most Lexcodians agree that they tend to focus more on work at the office, where they can see their colleagues working as well. Moreover, the sense of accountability is less when working from home.
Myr’s workspace in her home in Rizal
People who work remotely also face the tendency to overwork. For Grace, having the freedom to take multiple breaks during office hours pressures her to finish tasks beyond office hours. On the other hand, Mandy constantly worries about work even after his shift because there is no clear difference between his workplace and home.
Other concerns include constraints in meeting clients and colleagues face-to-face. “Although this can be remedied by talking over communication devices, such as through phone or video call, it would still be best to meet with people from time to time,” Jullia added.
Grace’s workspace in her home in Makati
Preparing Lexcodians in the Long Run
Despite some issues, Lexcode aims to develop its work-from-home policies in support of the welfare of its employees even after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Management explained, “There is still room for improvement, like maximizing the readily available resources to support the employees fully. These will be considered in the implementation of the work-from-home policy in the long run.”
What adjustments have been made in your company so far? Leave a comment below together with some tips for efficiently working from home.