The Last Time I Wore Shoes: A Month in QuarantineEmployee Journals
When work was suspended last March 13, 2020, the first careless thought I got was me getting a one-day head start on my week-long vacation scheduled to begin the following day. The trip had been planned for months, tickets and hotels already paid, and I was itching to just go.
The second careless thought was me believing that this was all just some phase that will sort itself out in a few days.
Fast-forward to a month later, I found myself flipping the calendar from March to April, as it dawned on me that I have been in my childhood home in the province for thirty-one days, the longest I’ve stayed in years. With a quarantine down to the barangay level, officials blaring warnings against loitering every few hours or so on their cars, suffice to say, this is the longest I’ve failed to set foot outside the gates as well.
I guess I can consider myself as part of the lucky ones. Being part of a company gracious enough to let me work from home is really a blessing in turbulent times such as these. Still, despite all the obvious comforts and perks working from home brings, I can’t help but miss saying ‘good morning!’ to my colleagues face to face.
One thing I miss the most from working at the office would most definitely be meeting up with co-employees in person. Aside from the obvious benefit from being with people I’ve come to know as friends, it generally felt easier and more natural to collaborate by bouncing ideas off one another, instead of just through the chat box. The working environment promotes open communication, allowing team members and leaders to work efficiently, as if running like clockwork.
The obviously more relaxed environment notwithstanding, there are still confidential information that are carefully guarded around our housemates. Discussion points that could be delved upon in an active exchange with teammates at a drop of a hat are sometimes reserved for voiceless chats, parked until members of the party see the message first. As intelligent and insightful our parents and siblings may be as conversationalists, we can never be too careful when information security is at stake.
Another major convenience present in the office setting is uninterrupted and stable internet connection, as well as electricity. Working from home wasn’t a regular thing prior to this situation, and there are a lot of challenges that come with it. Setting up a workstation and making sure dorm mates or family members don’t accidentally make a cameo during video conferences are some hurdles to get over, but there are also things I can’t control, like internet instability and power outages. Trust me: when work from home was made available, the last thing I needed was getting myself benched for a week because of an unresolvable internet connectivity issue.
After more than a month in quarantine, I hope I speak for everyone when I say that the COVID-19 situation can’t end fast enough. Fortunately, we can all contribute to the fight against this virus, with the first step being, well, not stepping outside at all unless necessary. There is a time and place for everything, after all, and once it is all over, we will have our chance to do everything we love, see friends we’ve missed, and finally continue plans that have for so long taken the back seat.
The Search: Recruitment in the midst of a Pandemic
With the country capital entering a modified enhanced community quarantine, the hope of the further improvement of the COVID-19 situation in our country shines just a bit brighter. Though there may still be a long way to go, people are still eagerly awaiting the day a sense of normalcy is reinstated in their lives: to go out as they please, to meet up with people, and to return to work.
From Bed to Business: RJ Goes (Work from) Home
As one of the pioneering online English tutorial companies here in the Philippines, RareJob is no stranger to the work-from-home setup. With a two hundred-strong office workforce backing up thousands of tutors all over the Philippines through telecommunication, we can say with confidence that we truly know its potential.