Local Quezon City news, Philippines
MarLiCa Art Gym reopens after long lockdown
By: Julius Antonio
Lipa City—MarLiCa Art Gym reopens its doors after 6 long months of lockdown
After Batangas was placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), a lot of business establishments and organizations have reopened, operating with only half of their usual workforce after months of lockdown. One of these organizations is the MarLiCa Art Gym which resumed operations on Sept. 18, after 6 months of quarantine.
MarLiCa Art Gym is an establishment offering free art lessons to the public. It is located in Inosluban, Lipa City.
The reopening of MarLica Art Gym is relevant to those who want to take some break from life's daily hassles. “No time to feel down in these COVID days,” said Dr. Carstensen, organization founder. More so, it provides an opportunity for aspiring artists in improving their skills and talent. Under the new normal, there are designated areas for people in line, observing mandated health protocols such as wearing facemasks and face shields.
“MarLiCa Art Gym was founded 20 years ago to give the public free access to materials and courses about basic drawing, painting, sculpting, mosaic making, pottery, and candle making for the young artists.”
Why hire a freelancer?
Today's work environment is changing nowadays. While traditional office pace is tied to eight- hour workdays, modern workers opt for a more flexible work schedule. This has paved the way for what we now know as Freelancing. It’s not a surprise to see why people from all over the world are gravitating towards the freelance set-up, given its freedom and autonomy. But working with freelancers offers lots of growth potential for businesses, too.
Here are some benefits why should you hire a freelancer?
1. Cost- Effectiveness
One of the top reasons why many companies hire freelancers is because they are more cost-effective than full-time employees. Sometimes, the work that needs to be filled isn’t routine or it could be a one-time task. Freelancers can accomplish the job and get paid only whenever you need them to do a project.
2. Access to top- tier talent
Freelancers are highly specialized professionals, many of them is devoted to hone their craft and enhancing their skills and knowledge. The freelance industry is not tied to industry's bureaucratic agencies, and instead prefer to work with their own terms, especially with the high value of their work.
Freelancers are very diverse- varying from different educational backgrounds, different working styles, ethnicity and such.
4. Options in Expanding your Team
Expanding your team depends on your industry's needs. Full time Workers, Part- time Workers, and Freelancers.
5. More Innovative
Freelancers tend to be more innovative and receptive to new technology, cutting edge ideas and suggestions. Whilst large firms could also offer wonderful and innovative ideas, freelancers, as they are not typically burdened with some pre-conceived attitudes, could step in and install cutting edge solutions to your business design issues to challenge even the best of your professionals.
Maricar Hernandez: A Problem Solver in the field of Outsourcing in the Midst of a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been one of the greatest – if not the greatest –disruptors in history.
As the effects of the pandemic has filtered those businesses, large and small, and brought the greatest “survival of the fittest” test, there is one industry that seems to be even more striving in the midst of this global health crisis.
The business process outsourcing or BPO sector.
I was lucky enough to have interviewed a CEO from the Central Luzon region of the Philippines, and found out how things have turned in her business favor and have apparently made COVID-19 as a revenue generator rather than a cash deplete.
Let’s find out more from the CEO of Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions, Maricar Hernandez
Who is Maricar Hernandez? How would you describe yourself in terms of the work that you do?
I would consider myself as a passionate problem-solver and a leader for people. Helping employees personally and professionally is always in my agenda. In resolving business owners’ or clients’ problems, I see to it that they’re taken care of by implementing lasting – and not short-lived – results. What helps them long-term also helps us for the long haul. We make sure we help them first, because, in turn, it also means helping us as a company.
With this pandemic in particular, resolving the cash flow pressure our clients are facing today is of utmost priority. We help them recover from the pandemic’s impact by letting them focus on the higher level side of their businesses and trust us with their back-office processes and remote staff management.
Tell us about your journey as a CEO. How did your company start?
Establishing Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions became an idea when former colleagues encouraged me to start my own company.
I guess their faith and confidence in me (that I can do it) was what made BL a reality. And as the CEO, it paved the way from me to have the freedom in deciding what’s best for the company, and ultimately for the clients and for my employees.
I do have mentors who have helped me in my journey despite having 19 years of experience in the BPO sector. I am an advocate of the mentoring system. I enjoy listening to successful people’s stories. The more I hear about their struggles in running their businesses, the more I get motivated and inspired. Most of my mentors are clients from the previous company I’ve worked for before I started Beyond Limits.
Can you tell us more about the a-ha moment when you knew the Beyond Limits could actually become successful?
My vision for Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions is to give “the best of both worlds” — meaning, the showcase the Filipino’s exemplary customer service skills, which is second nature to us, and the Western style of leadership and management. Right from the start, I wanted our company to be “not just your ordinary BPO company”.
I guess I always knew that it will become a success because I know that I have the right people for the right job. It is the pool of talents that we have in the company— 95% are young, yet enthusiastic, motivated, always hungry for new learning, committed and aggressive. Just what we need to keep the wheels moving.
Let’s face it, all businesses regardless of industry have been greatly affected by the current global health crisis caused by Covid-19. How is Beyond Limits BPO thriving in this new normal brought about by the pandemic? What insights can you share to those who are still in the transitioning stage?
We just take it a day at a time. Since the pandemic started though, Beyond Limits’ headcount has increased by 104% and with more client referrals (66%) in just 2 months.
While we also had challenges in the other areas of the business, including having to conduct virtual recruitment, online employee engagement and remote training since, we have managed effectively despite having 100% of our manpower working from home.
Perhaps if there’s one thing we encourage other companies to keep in the midst of what’s currently happening, it’s optimism in the virtual workplace. It is also something that has keep us going during these trying times.
I always tell my employees how fortunate we are that our hiring is ongoing, and that we have a lot of great things accomplished despite the lockdown in the Philippines.
It’s important for leaders to remind the people in the workplace that instead of focusing on what is happening around us, we should pour our time and effort on the things within our control – i.e., things that we do well.
Also, it is always a good idea to have Plan B to Z.
Constant communication is also what glues us together as an organization. Reminding the young leaders on how to be effective and mature communicators, especially during times of crisis is an effective way to strengthen a team.
Lastly, be a source of inspiration to your people by being more empathetic, more human.
What is important to you and Beyond Limits BPO right now in this new normal?
Three things: to continue helping people by providing employment, resolve clients’ cash flow challenges (operation costs) and to sustain giving aid to less fortunate communities through various outreach initiatives.