Like most agencies in The Philippines and other parts of the world, Dentsu One Manila/Dojo decided to lockdown the agency and send staff to work from the safety of home before the news broke that the country would be under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
At the time newly appointed Country CEO, JC Catibog called for an emergency network-wide town hall to inform all staff that they testing out a work-from-home setup starting March 12.
Joey Ong, managing director and head of creative at Dojo said most staff have never gone back to the office since then.
“It’s safe to say that the same scenario happened in all agencies in the country,” said Ong. “It was truly a challenging time as strong leadership and management were needed to keep everyone’s spirits up. Regular meetings on how to move forward and how to maximize the situation were called as well as constant checking up on staff were done. Back-end teams bravely held the fort as segments of the business were unable to function at home. We are a resilient and creative industry, great at finding ways to make things work. For everyone, it was business as usual.”
After the ECQ came the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) which allowed businesses to open and to operate at 20% to 50% capacity for social distancing. Strict protocols were set for those who really needed to get their hard drives and belongings in the office. The extreme lockdown was over, but caution was still a priority for the Dentsu Management team.
Fabi Carino, head of HR, conducted regular talks on well-being and mental health called Mind your Mind for employees working from home. This proved to be so useful during those dark days of the ECQ. Merlee Jayme, the now co-president of Dentsu Mcgarry Bowen, reached out to creative heads to figure out what the office can do to help people get inspired in these less-than-ideal times.
“Throughout the 100 plus days away from the office and distanced from our partners and clients, the creative, media and social team of the network created a steady stream of webinars for clients, team members and business partners so together we can plan out our next move and inspire one another towards the new normal.” said Ong.
Now that all protocols and systems are in place, getting people to actually follow them inspired the creatives of Dojo and they tasked by the network to create signages for the agency to know what to do when working in the newly sanitized office environment.
“This was a nice break from the waves and waves of commercial work they’ve been churning out for months. Crafted to their heart’s liking, the signages were designed to spell out the network name. It reminds everyone to always wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, practice social distancing, clean your workspace, and, of course, to keep on smiling even under a mask.” Said Ong.
“Inspiration is still everywhere, even during these challenging times. At the end of the day, this is what agencies do, we are the experts in making lemonade out of lemons.”
Agency: Dentsu One Manila/Dojo
ECD: Joey Ong
ACD: Aeya Fontanilla
Copy: Jogs Danao
Copy: Merl Peroz
Art: Lan Damaso
Art: Ken Enriquez