Recognizing the consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the operations of organizations, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) held a webinar on “How to Thrive in a Virtual Environment” last 26 June 2020.

This is to help both management and employees cope with the impacts of the adjustments made to work arrangements in various organizations through the use of ICT. 

In the first session, leadership in the new normal was discussed. Participants were taught how to manage the workforce in a virtual environment and were provided with insights on how to prepare for future challenges by redefining work practices and environments.

“The challenge for leaders in industries, governments and organizations, is to adjust to the way it is now. And part of that adjustment is to be familiar, be innovative so that you can manage and continue in your mission and in your business,” Renato V. Diaz said, Chairman and President of RVDIAZ Consultancy and Management Corporation.

The second session focused on discussions on the self-care of employees, particularly their physical, mental, and socio-emotional health.

“While it is easy to say that self-care is some new indulgent fad, this is simply not true. People have been talking about the needs for self-care—and the mind-body-spirit relationship that self-care helps foster—for many years,” Analiza O. Pulido, Group Head for Administrative and Human Resource of Hortaleza Corporation, explained.

The webinar was conducted by the DICT’s National Planning and Corporate Management Bureau (NPCMB) and was attended by employees from the DICT and from other government agencies, as well as the general public.

“We expect that in the new normal, we will continue to employ these alternative working arrangements to prevent further transmission of the virus. This webinar was conducted to help our workforce achieve greater effectiveness despite the disruptions in the workplace. This is of course one way of mitigating the effects of the health crisis in our country, with the guidance and directives of President Rodrigo Duterte through the IATF-MEID” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said. 

To observe physical distancing and to comply with other health protocols set by the government, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has issued CSC Resolution No. 2000540 or the “Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic”, dated 07 May 2020. It was circularized through CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10, s. 2020. The said guidelines provided for multiple alternative work arrangements, such as work-from-home arrangement, skeleton workforce, four-day or compressed workweek, and staggered working hour, which government agencies can adapt during the health crisis.