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Insight: IdeasXMachina On Keeping a Well-Oiled Machine Running Through #WFH and Practicing Remote Work Pre-Quarantine

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Three weeks in to the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine, and not much is different when it comes to the “outside world”: public transportation is still limited, non-essential work is still discouraged to operate normally, and offices are urged to function with a skeletal team, or work from home. This, of course, includes the local advertising community, whose briefings, meetings, and regular catch-ups are now regular occurrences on messaging platforms, and usual work environments filled with creatives are now replaced by laptop screens, and pop-up chats.

How will the advertising industry, with its businesses anchored on the constant exchange of creative ideas, survive this lockdown, and a limited source for inspiration?

We caught up with IdeasXMachina Advertising Inc. CEO Third Domingo as he shared how IXM is continuing to practice their creativity while running the business from home, and how he believes the lockdown will affect the industry as a whole even post-quarantine.


Read the full interview below:

What measures have you been taking since the lockdown?

Work From Home. Additional allowance for data. Viber, Whatsapp, Zoom, MSTeams galore.

How have things been three weeks into this work-from-home mode?

Manageable. We’ve had practice of this last year when everyone was WFH for three months due to renovations in the office. Of all industries and businesses, advertising seems to be more capable of adapting to the new normal of WFH. We’ve always believed anyway that creativity is harnessed outside the office, what, with all the kinds of special benefits we give to encourage people to go out and live life outside of work… to become better at work.

What lies ahead and how can communications help during these disruptive times?

A stronger industry. Times like this require creativity and resourcefulness: working with what you have. That’s our training as advertising people. We’ll be ok and in fact come out better.

And when that happens, the very idea of an office will be questioned and redefined. Our factory is not a physical place. It’s our brains. I predict the office space will be smaller, more like a headquarters, not a workstation. Where people only need to report a couple of times in a week to check in and do administrative work. Our office is already designed that way anyway.

We’re working closely with our partners and suppliers so they don’t have to come to our office to collect their cheques. Digital Money like PayMaya has been very helpful to us.

The pitches continue. There is this optimistic sentiment present among all communication businesses. Things will get back to normal. For sure. But not the kind of normal that we know. The anthropocene will not go the way of dinosaurs. We know how to adapt and use new situations to our advantage.

Any positive musings to lift the spirit?

Thank goodness for the Internet! I was in my farm when the lockdown happened and I couldn’t go home for days. People get their information from their phones now, even the farmers that I work with. I see people watching scientific videos about COVID-19. One way to help here is to create informative videos in the Filipino language. Which is what we’re doing now.


This article is part of a series by adobo magazine exploring the different ways the local creative industry is continuing to produce content and service clients during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine implemented to avoid the outbreak of COVID-19.

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