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WFH during the ECQ: Timson’s Darren Pangan

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AS the Philippine workforce has shifted into a work-from-home (WFH) dynamic to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, Darren Blaine T。 Pangan, Head of Online Trading and Trader at Timson Securities, Inc。, has been monitoring the local stock market and performing his day to day office duties from the safety of his home。

In this e-mail interview done on May 6, Mr。 Pangan said that the work-from-home situation just showed how creative and adaptive Filipinos can be despite a health crisis such as COVID-19 and movement restrictions implemented due to the lockdown。

The interview was lightly edited for clarity.

WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MEETING METHOD AND WHY?

北京赛车pk10投注Since my type of work doesn’t require a lot of video conferences, I would usually talk to clients and workmates via Viber and Facebook messenger。 Viber calls seem more than enough for quick calls, while Facebook Messenger comes in handy since we’re all used to the app already。

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HOME OFFICE?

My home office consists of a simple study table and a comfy office chair, both of which have been in my room since my university days. Given that my study-room-turned-office-area is situated at the second level of our two-storey house, I always bring a jug with me to keep myself hydrated. [As the] humidity level seems to be increasing over the past few days, to not experience this not-so-friendly weather, I usually stay downstairs at our dining area. As long as I have my laptop, charger, and strong internet access, I’ll be able to monitor and execute trades in the local stock market.

WHAT TIME DO YOU START YOUR WORKDAY NOW COMPARED TO BACK WHEN YOU ACTUALLY WENT TO THE OFFICE?

北京赛车pk10投注There isn’t really much of a difference, since I usually arrive at the office around 7 a.m. despite the call time being 8:30 a.m. Now that I don’t have to commute going to Ortigas, I spend the extra time eating a heavier breakfast as I read up on what transpired through the night on US and European equity markets. After cleaning myself up, I then prepare for the day’s tasks by making a list of things to do. I realized that my productivity rose the moment I utilized to-do lists.

DOES WORKING FROM HOME MAKE YOUR WORK HOURS MORE FLUID?

Working from home has allowed me to focus on my tasks more efficiently, taking away the thought of going through the heavy traffic at EDSA for one to two hours just to get home.

That one to two hours of extra time has allowed me to definitely spend more time monitoring the financial markets as well as become much more responsive to client inquiries and concerns.

DO YOU TAKE BREAKS AT HOME?

It’s just the usual lunch and merienda meals. I don’t take a lot of breaks and time seems to fly really fast.

DO YOU STILL DRESS UP FOR WORK?

Since we don’t really do a lot of video calls, I just wear my usual home clothes. I do take a bath before and after working, though. I think hygiene has to be taken seriously as we go through this pandemic.

ANY INTERESTING STORIES FROM YOUR WORK FROM HOME EXPERIENCE?

Given that I sometimes work at the dining area to escape the hot weather upstairs, my family suddenly gained access to my reactions as I watched the local market fluctuate。 There was one time that the local market was dropping big time, and I couldn’t help but express my surprise for the market’s movement during that day。 I guess I was overly expressive that day than I usually am, but it was just because it wasn’t a normal day in the market。 I saw blue chip stocks fall tremendously。 I may have been too surprised that my family asked what was happening。

I guess working from home gives your loved ones the chance to witness your work routine, habits, and mannerisms.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM WORKING FROM HOME? HOW WILL THE “NEW NORMAL” AFTER THE QUARANTINE ENDS AFFECT THE WORLD OF WORK?

There was quite a lot which I learned for the past few weeks I have been working from home, but I think being able to witness how teams recoup and organize themselves to become as efficient as being in the office is so fascinating to watch。 It goes to show how adaptable humans are in times of need。

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WILL CONTINUE DOING EVEN AFTER ECQ?

I would now give higher value on the people, places, and things around me that seem to have been neglected all along. The little things. It’s different for every person I guess, depending on their values and way of life. I’m sure, though, that personal hygiene is something that we can all agree on giving more attention to after ECQ (enhanced community quarantine).

DID YOU HAVE ANY SLIP-UPS DURING OFFICIAL WORK STUFF?

There are times when I’ve had too much coffee to drink, and somewhere during the hours when the stock market is open, I’ll have to go to the comfort room. Unfortunately, some clients call at that precise moment while I’m in the toilet. Sometimes, I do take calls in the toilet, but more often than not, I answer my phone after cleaning up. I do not have to worry, anyway, because our toilet has a lot of carpets to keep the echo at a minimal level. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave









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