It’s been a while since I last shared a life update! Work has been quite hectic recently. But it’s nice to finally find a little downtime and some inspiration to write. So I thought about sharing my work from home experience! In case you haven’t visited the blog nor seen my Instagram posts, I left corporate last year to focus on my passion projects. These included my mom’s backyard business, Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti, and my own small business: Greta’s Junk Shop! It was a decision I’ve been wanting to do since 2016. But I only got to do it last year after the pandemic put things into perspective for me.
And then in September 2020, around the same time I launched my shop, I got the most unexpected job offer! To be honest, the last quarter of 2020 was quite a series of events. The HR of the company I now work for discovered my LinkedIn profile and invited me to apply for their Beauty Managing Editor position. On paper, it did seem like a role I was fit to do. But I had just launched my own projects. I wasn’t sure if I could manage to have a full-time job while simultaneously doing my side hustles.
In the end, I chose to sign with the company because I knew that if I didn’t, I’d regret it later on. Aside from learning and growing more, I knew it would add more value to my career. I would also be able to save more money for the future. Experience-wise, it’s my first time working for an international company and to have foreign bosses. In the last four months, I’ve faced many things—from dealing with different cultures; to managing challenging clients; to getting used to permanently working from home.
My Work from Home Experience
The company I work for has offices in London, New York, Brazil, Singapore, and Indonesia. They don’t have an office in the Philippines (yet), which means I work from home indefinitely. There are so many pros to it but at the same time, there are cons as well.
I like that I don’t have to wake up early.
One positive thing about working from home is that I don’t have to wake up extra early. Unlike before when I used to work in Makati while living in Quezon City, I had to wake up at 6 AM! On a similar note, I’m able to sleep later and sometimes have time to watch shows on Netflix, play Animal Crossing, or read Harry Potter fanfiction.
I like that I don’t have to wear office clothes.
Although I do miss dressing up, most days I enjoy not having to wear office clothes. I can just wear the house dresses my grandmother makes for me! On days I have video meetings, I merely brush up my brows with Glossier Boy Brow and add tint to my lids and cheeks using Glossier Cloud Paint.
I like that I have access to all the food in the ref.
Working from home gives me access to all the food in our refrigerator. Whenever I’m hungry, I don’t have to buy from 7-Eleven, Mini Stop, or Tim Hortons. I can just check whatever is in the ref or cupboard!
I like that I’m able to save.
It’s also mostly because of the quarantine. But because I don’t see the need to go out unless it’s an essential errand, I stopped buying clothes and makeup. I don’t spend on gas or parking at all. And I’m able to save more, which I invest in Greta’s Junk Shop or my peso bond funds instead!
What I Miss About Working in an Office
While there are a lot of pros, there are several cons as well. If you know me, then you’re probably familiar with the relationship I had with my previous officemates—especially my work babies. I found fulfillment in mentoring them. I enjoyed helping them grow more as individuals. And in general, I miss our friendship and bond!
I miss making real connections.
While calls are great, especially for an introvert like me, I do miss human interaction (outside my family). I miss being able to take quick brain breaks and share stories about the most random things. Before, I could just turn my chair and tell my work babies a funny story. Or I could get up and walk to the Jollijeeps to buy my favorite street food! That’s something I’m not able to do these days. And I think it’s because of this, even though I work in a team, that I sometimes feel alone.
I miss having boundaries.
I miss the feeling of shutting down at 6 PM and turning my “work mode” off. Nowadays, I’m always-on. And it’s not because I want to be—it’s because I’m expected to be (since there’s nowhere else to go anyway). I guess it’s all part of working for an agency. But I just wish I could balance everything again like I used to. For now, I need to tough it out.
I miss speaking in Filipino.
Because my colleagues (including my bosses) are foreign, I speak English at work all the time. I miss being able to speak in Filipino especially when I’m sharing a story that would sound better in our native language. I’m glad that there are three other Filipinos who work for different clients that I’m able to talk to once in a while. Still, it’s different when you’re not on the same team.
Despite the cons, I’m extremely thankful to have this job and be able to work from home. I know it’s a huge privilege and I recognize that. Most days, when it’s difficult for me to find the motivation, I remind myself to always be grateful. And it gives me the strength to carry on and face the day.
Do you work from home? What’s your experience like? I’d love to read them in the comment section!