June 2020 Awardees: Beyond Boundaries

Image credits to: https://ociip.org/9-traits-that-will-lead-you-to-success/

by
Girlie Joy C. Gumapon

WFH – the most common term in the world since the pandemic erupted. “Working from home” is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. by bus, bicycle or car, etc.) to a central place of work, such as an office building. Working remotely has its perks but it also has its disadvantages. The challenges of working from home would take a toll on employees. However,  every great work done and milestones achieved by an employee deserves utmost appreciation and respect. Despite the challenges they encountered, they indeed triumphed beyond boundaries. Featuring, six tutors who went the extra mile upholding our core values and overcoming obstacles while working from home.

Tanya Besinga: Ang Laban Queen ng Tibasak

This cheerful young lady loves watching movies (except horror) , cooking and baking. She always says “Laban” as a way of encouraging herself and others to keep going.

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? First challenge would be the internet connection. It was really frustrating finding a good and stable spot where your modem could have a strong signal all throughout the day. Plus, it’s even harder when it rains because you’d know you’ll have a problem with how slow your wifi is and I was always afraid my students would make a complaint because of it. So I returned the issued modem given by the company and started using our own wired connection at home and so far I haven’t really encountered major problems after that.

Second would be the additional lessons that we would conduct. We were used to conducting lessons with teens, adults and professionals so the fact that we would also be teaching young kids when WFH setup started was a big shift for me. I didn’t really know what to feel about teaching young kids but I was still hopeful and kept a positive mindset. Luckily, my students were very fun to teach with and I was soon getting the hang of it. They were always laughing and very excited to see their teacher so that made me happy and thrilled to be teaching them as well.

Third would have to be the major shift from being a Center based tutor. I was used to my routine when I was still working in the office so when the WFH setup happened, I could feel all of my negative emotions heightened that time. I guess I was still in denial and I miss the experience that I get to have when working in the office and the people that I get to see and talk with. After that I eventually started telling myself that I am not alone, most of my co-workers and people in general all over the world are experiencing this kind of mentality. I have to change my thinking so that I could still provide for my family especially during tough times like these.

What advice/tips can you give to fellow tutors? The best advice I could give is to just be patient and have a positive mindset in general. I know it’s not that easy, I still am working with this one as well but the fact that we are striving to work hard everyday just proves that we could do it. Working in this kind of environment could make you easily frustrated with a lot of things but I always think that there are other people who are sacrificing more than us and for that we should be grateful. Try to have a positive mindset when starting your shift and just enjoy every lesson you conduct, even the bad ones.

Adjust. Everyone is adjusting may it be with their lessons or with their work environment or perhaps the situation that we are in now. I guess adjusting is a good action that we should do especially during this time.

What advice/tips can you give to fellow tutors?  My advice to my fellow tutors is to be flexible, especially now that we are working from home. Also, let’s take care of ourselves mentally and physically as well.

April Grace Tupac: Ang Meowmy Rocker ng Indahag

This melophile, who particularly loves rock, is a loving mother of 5 cats. She likes playing the guitar and very recently, she developed an interest in collecting vinyl records.

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? I find working from home very convenient, although there were some challenges along the way, one of them being,auditory-distraction, It was quite challenging to adjust at first but our household made rules to avoid distracting noises. There is also the challenge of the division between work space and personal space , but setting a home office helped a great deal,it motivated me to continue to work professionally. And lastly, Social isolation, it was quite depressing at first, I missed eating lunch with my friends (shout out to Batch 37! ) and going somewhere relaxing after work, but our management took an initiative to remedy this. Group chats and also the opportunity to visit the office helped me a lot.

Shiela Galangke: Ang Budgettarian Daughter ng Igpit

This thrifty lass loves the beauty of sunsets. She also likes watching movies/series on Netflix. And, enjoys annoying her three-year old niece.

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? At first, I was really hesitant about working from home but as days went by I was able to adjust and make the most of what’s on my plate. I struggled in the first few months especially when ISP issues, Uncomfortable Setting and Anxiety attacks were among the few challenges that I had to face every shift.

To say that dealing with ISP issues was “stressful” is an understatement. Working in an uncomfortable setting, where chairs are not as comfy as the office chairs and the room temperature is way too different from what we have in the office was really a big challenge. Not to mention the anxiety and a bunch of negative thoughts that come across my mind every time I think about all these craziness that’s happening around the world.

I can’t say that I’ve overcome these challenges already because they are still recurring and are inevitable, I guess. Especially the ISP issues. (hahaha) But kidding aside, I think the right word for me to use is the word “manage”. I wasn’t able to overcome it yet, but I’m proud to say that I’ve learned to deal and manage it nicely. How? Well, I just accepted the fact that this is actually the new normal and I can’t do anything about it aside from hoping that things would go along my way.

What advice/tips can you give to fellow tutors? To my fellow tutors who are also struggling in these difficult times we’re all facing now, the tips that I could give were pretty common but some of us may tend to overlook most of the time. First tip, in dealing with ISP issues, I know it’s very stressful but don’t forget to take a deep breath before restarting your modems. It’s for us to be reminded that this kind of problem is beyond our control and that we can’t do anything about it. Restart. Smile. Update GC’s then move on. Second, be flexible. Learn to accept and adapt changes. Be flexible in changing personas from Jissen Business Persona to School Lesson Persona and to a Child-like Persona every day. No, you don’t have MPD, you’re just doing your job and you’re doing it fine. Last tip, don’t let stress eat you. Eat when you’re stressed. To everyone who is silently fighting their demons inside, with the pandemic and all the uncertainties of life — it’s okay to stumble and cry once in a while but don’t forget to eat after you cry. Food is a great source of energy, and sometimes food is a great source of comfort too. We’re all gonna die one day, gaining or losing 4 to 5 kilograms won’t change that. Eat if you must. Eat moderately if you think you should. Because at the end of the day, when all survey forms are submitted- food will always be there for you especially on payday. (laugh)

What advice/tips can you give to fellow tutors? My advice to my fellow tutors is to take it day by day. I know that a lot of us overthink a lot which can make a difficult situation more difficult. However, we must always take the time to breathe and let go. Stressing out will not make our problems go away. List down the things that you have to do and complete them one at a time. Second, give your best in everything you do. Improve yourself every day and don’t accept mediocre outputs. Take constructive criticisms and use it to build yourself up. You don’t have to be perfect, but you shouldn’t settle in being abominable and deficient either. Lastly, do the things that you love to do. You deserve to take a break and let loose sometimes because we are not robots; treat yourself. Don’t forget that your mental health is important too. Never assume that you’re alone and open up to others if you have to. It’s okay to ask for help. Let us all together grow with this company.

Angelie Kate Sy: Ang Princess Chichay ng Upper Carmen

This young philanthropist finds joy in doing volunteer work like teaching street children and helping out with charity. She loves to go swimming and  loves to try out different foods from different countries. Lastly, she also likes to play Mobile Legends and watch Netflix during her free time.

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? Working from home was a challenge for me because we don’t get the same tutor support quality that we used to get when we were still working in the office. If we encounter technical difficulties, blackouts, and other inconveniences, the solution is not rapidly given. I also have very limited to no physical interactions with other people now. We can’t do fun office activities, laugh, eat, and talk with our colleagues as much as we did anymore which can make me feel lonely at times. I also had a hard time in changing my day to day routines. I had to do more preparations before the lessons and make sure that I can work smoothly for the day. Working from home can sometimes make me feel lazy or unmotivated. Despite all these challenges, I am still very grateful to have this job amidst this pandemic. I overcome my anxieties and other challenges from work by listing down the things that I am grateful for. I am grateful that the company I work in prioritizes the health of their employees. I am grateful for the safety and convenience that I am enjoying now because of the work from home setup. I do my best to never forget why I love my job; the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve encountered here helped me grow as a person. I am comforted by the fact that everyone is doing their best to give the best quality for both our working environment and health. Given the full efforts of everyone in the company, I am hopeful that after all the challenges, we will all come out stronger and better.

Crystal Ann Perpetua: Ang Miss Independent ng Carmen

This young entrepreneur likes listening to music because it gives her comfort and joy. She also loves dressing up and making herself look pretty. Lastly, she enjoys cooking because it is her stress reliever.

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? This WFH setup is new to me. In my previous job, I have always been out on the field every single day. I have never tried working at home. So this WFH setup is somehow new to me. However, I needed to adjust and be comfortable with this new normal. By that, I decided to change my mindset and think of the advantages of working from home. One of those is I can save money because I do not need to commute to go to the office. Transportation allowance is now off of my budget list. Also, I can save for my food.

I cannot interact with my workmates. One of the reasons I applied in Envizion is because of the friendly environment it has. People are friendly and accommodating. I would love to get to know them more and interact with them. Somehow, this is a challenge for me because I am the type of person who likes face-to-face interaction. Gladly, Envizion initiated monthly events in the office where we can gather and have fun together.

Slow Internet connection during rainy days. I think Internet connection has always been the challenge of each of the tutors, not just me. Somehow it is frustrating, but I do not let it discourage myself from teaching passionately.

What advice/tips you can give to your fellow tutors? Always give your best shot in every lesson. No matter what circumstances you go through, always do your best when conducting lessons.

Student’s learning and progress should be your ultimate goal. When I was still new in RKE, I felt pressured when conducting lessons. I was not sure if I was doing the right thing or not. However, I realized that I was too focused on the pressure I felt and forgot the ultimate goal of teaching. Since then, I always remind myself to focus on my student’s learning growth and progress. And that makes teaching a lot more meaningful and purposeful.

Have fun and enjoy teaching. I know it is not easy to teach toddlers and kids, but I think that teaching them will also help you grow as a person. You will develop patience and understanding throughout the times. 

What advice/tips can you give to fellow tutors? Together with the drastic changes in time and in this current working situation we are in, I think it is very important to always keep in mind the valuable things that we have learned in these experiences. Firstly, be cooperative and proactive. Communicating and organizing people in every company’s projects and activities is very challenging nowadays. That is why taking the initiative and being cooperative is highly appreciated. Secondly, be more responsible. In these difficult times, we are so blessed to still have our jobs and do the things that we do. To keep what we have and to move forward, a greater sense of responsibility is needed. Lastly, always uphold and integrate what is good and useful. For example, the temptation is always there specially that we work in the comfort of our homes. To avoid being mediocre and complacent, it is very helpful to uphold our company’s culture. And try to make it as part of our daily lives.

Challenges in life are somehow opportunities for us to grow. We just need to always look at the bright side of everything. 

Mel Mar Baylin: Ang Chinitong Promdi ng Camiguin

This hard working bachelor is a music lover. He likes listening to music and playing the guitar in his free time. He also likes watching movies and anime. 

What are the challenges you encountered while WFH and how did you overcome them? There were quite a few challenges that I have encountered since day one of WFH setting. The first one is an internet connection problem. Using just prepaid WiFi, there were times where I couldn’t conduct lessons because of unstable connections. The second one is background noise. Unlike in the office setting, where we can somehow minimize noises, it is so difficult to manage background noises at home. Simply because we don’t have that control of what is happening around us. The last one is I am always tempted to be just mediocre and complacent. Being too comfortable in my comfort zone somehow hinders me to go the extra mile at work.

I was able to overcome those first two challenges through company’s help. The management, with the help of tutors’ experiences, were able to pinpoint some of the major concerns in relation to WFH setting. In doing so, they were able to come up with a solution to deal with the background noises. And they were also able to draft an initiative to cope up with the internet connection problem. In line with this, I just simply grab the opportunity that the company offered since this initiative is favorable on my part. So far, I am able to conduct my lessons smoothly since I started using my own ISP. On the other hand, every time I feel mediocre and complacent at work I always remind myself to uphold certain values in life. For example, I always keep in mind our company’s culture (The Envizion Way: student first, enjoy everything and more than tsada) and try to internalize it. In this way, this helps me to be the best version of myself everyday and motivates me to go the extra mile in everything I do.

Beyond Boundaries

Were you able to take note of the tips/advice from our awardees? I bet you were! These outstanding tutors are living proof that despite the limitations they had, they made the most out of it by upholding our core values and practicing self management. Working from home is never easy, but it’s now the new normal.  We may encounter challenges as we work our way up to the tip of the mountain but let’s not limit ourselves to the countless possibilities and opportunities we can do for ourselves and for our students. Let’s keep the fire burning and go beyond boundaries.

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