We waste a significant amount of time waiting every day.
In the Philippines, more than 39 million employees expect arduous commutes, congested traffic, long payment queues, and all the anxiety that come with them. Some commute up to six hours to get to and from work. Others stay late at work to escape price surges and traffic-related cancellations from app-supported transport network vehicle systems (TNVS). Most endure queues to pay bills, buy goods and services, cash checks, deposit money, or send cash to loved ones. No wonder many local banks and payment centers install comfortable seating–it is one way to keep people from leaving.
In our rapidly evolving country, waiting has become a part of life. But should it be?
Waiting aggravates our home and work lives. It steals much-needed time and attention away from what is important. We may ignore it, but we are profoundly affected by the stress of waiting.
Long commutes, for instance, are detrimental not only for individuals but also for organizations. A joint study of more than 34,000 workers in the United Kingdom proved that long commutes negatively affect health and productivity. Employees who commute longer are more likely to suffer from depression, have financial worries, and report multiple aspects of work-related stress.
Your time is limited. Waiting should not be an option. Fortunately, recent changes in society and technology can help you skip the long waits and focus on what’s important: living life the way you want to.
Here are tips on how to save time as a Filipino employee:
Tip # 1: Tune in to Traffic Updates
No need to rely on hearsay or a text from a friend to know if a traffic collision is blocking your way to work. To avoid congested areas, download traffic and navigation apps such as Waze, Google Maps, or INRIX Traffic Maps & GPS.
You may not want to be trapped during high-profile events, such as the ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in Pasay, Araw ng Dabaw in Davao, or the Ironman 70.3 Philippines triathlon race in Cebu. You can rely on multimedia channels to get traffic information in real time. Follow relevant websites and social media accounts or download local apps to get accurate updates on city traffic.
Start with the following list:
- Metro Manila Development Authority(MMDA) – Twitter, Facebook, Website, Android app(MMDA Traffic Navigator) Android app(UP ITDC), iOS app
- City Government of Makati – Twitter, Website
- North Luzon Expressway – Twitter, Website, Android app
- Skyway O & M Corporation – Twitter, Website(Skyway), Website(Tollway), Android app, iOS app
- South Luzon Expressway – Twitter
- Cavite Expressway – Twitter, Website, Facebook
- Traffic Central Cebu – Twitter, Website
- Traffic Management Center Davao – Twitter, Website
Tip # 2: Use Mobile or Web Apps to Avoid Queues
We know how it feels to squeeze in errands during lunch time or after work. We also get exasperated by the time lost while waiting for our turn if these errands involve local banks or payment centers.
You can avoid these queues. Some payment facilities now lets you get appointments online and show up when it’s your turn. Better yet, you can just download the TimeFree QMobile app to reserve your spot, get mobile alerts when it’s your turn, and spend your lunch hour doing something more enjoyable than waiting in line.
Note that the QMobile app now lets you fall in line at select BDO branches [insert other facilities served by QMobile]. Follow TimeFree on social media or subscribe to our email digest to get updates on the latest facilities added to the app.
Tip # 3: Explore Alternate Work Hours or Setups
The world is changing, and with it, the 9-to-6 work schedule. House Bill 6152, which gives employees the option to work for 4 days for 12 hours each day, was recently approved on its third and final reading. More and more Filipinos leave their full-time jobs and instead offer freelance services on sites like Elance or Freelancer. In 2016, a TINYpulse survey of 509 remote workers in the United States found that they feel happier and more productive than employees across all work arrangements. In the Philippines, some offices allow their employees to work remotely once a week and in office for the rest.
Ask your manager which options are available to you and take advantage of them. Also explore with various work shifts and see which saves you the most time.
Tip # 4: Delegate Routine Activities
Many of our activities outside of work are just routine. Buying groceries, sending goods to family and friends, doing laundry, cooking food, buying medicine—you can delegate all these. Here’s how:
- To buy groceries, take advantage of online services like Pushkart, honestbee, MetroMart, the Green Grocer, Down to Earth, and Walter Mart grocery delivery. You can also get medicine delivered using sites like Mercury Drug’s Gamot Padala, Rose Pharmacy’s RosExpress Delivery, and MedGrocer.
- To send goods to family and friends, try the same-day parcel delivery service of GrabExpress, GoMoto, Lalamove, Mober, and Transportify. You can even hire some of them if you need to move from your house or apartment!
- To get your laundry done, look for the nearest laundromat which offers free pickup and delivery. You can also use mobile apps like GetLaundry and honestbee to get this done.
- To get prepped food every day, search for food delivery services or use city delivery sites and apps. You can also start a potluck lunch plan every day with your co-workers.
- For everything else, there’s always the MyKuya app, which allows you to delegate errands to a helper in real time.
Tip # 5: Use Your Travel Time Wisely
Chances are, despite all your efforts, you can still end up waiting a while during your drive or commute to and from work. There are a myriad ways to use that time alone. You can listen to online talks that can help you at work. You can plug in audiobooks on your phone or vehicle. You can follow educational podcasts to help you learn more. If you’re on your way to work, you can also use this time to plan how the rest of your day goes. Just always remember to use your travel time in a way that contributes to your productivity.