“We were ready to move in,” Xiklab Digital CEO Arthur Policarpio shares, “We had the office space; we bought furniture – and then the pandemic hit. It was a tough call, but we had to.”
Fresh from its launch in 2019 as the biggest local independent digital marketing agency in the Philippines, Xiklab Digital was gearing up to move to a bigger office by March of this year; but when COVID19 reached the Philippines, management decided to let employees work from home one week before the Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced. When the ECQ took full effect, work on the company’s new office was halted and resources were reallocated to support the work-from-home efforts of employees.
“Protecting our employees’ health was really the first priority – and then we realized that after a period of adjustment, productivity didn’t suffer as much and it was doable – so we decided to pivot fully into a virtual set-up,” Policarpio reveals.
Working in close coordination, Xiklab Digital’s department heads were tasked to draft and implement Work-From-Home policies, morale-boosting online activities, and weekly team- and management-level updates.
“As a digital agency, we want to lead by example, for our peers and especially for our employees, that working from home can be effective,” Policarpio adds.
Aside from allowing employees to take home their computers, ergonomic chairs that were meant for the physical office can be delivered to employees who want them, and internet and electricity subsidies have been extended to ensure constant and streamlined communication between teams and clients.
“When the government finally allows it, and if clients request such, we can meet with them face-to-face, following social distancing protocols and booking physical conference rooms”, Policarpio reassures, “but internally, briefings, brainstorming sessions, even simple kamustahan – all will be done virtually. We just came from two online pitches during the ECQ that turned out better than expected, and those gave us the confidence to move forward with this decision.”
With a staff of over 80 servicing multiple clients across different industries, Xiklab Digital aims to study the long-term feasibility of its work-from-home setup in the hopes of sharing its learnings to other companies who are still deciding whether they should adopt the same policies or not.