Monday, February 24, 2020

Work-life integration the new norm

MANILA. February 24, 2020. With another year unfolding comes new goals and objectives as businesses and organizations finalize plans for the next few months. Beyond setting sales targets and performance metrics, more companies are increasingly becoming aware of the need to keep employees engaged as a means of ensuring business success. 

Employees, new to the corporate jungle and veterans alike, are for their part also making plans and revisiting career opportunities – or the lack thereof -- as these relate to their long-term life goals.

As employee satisfaction and engagement climb the list of priorities, the spotlight is turned on work-life integration. This is even more relevant in today’s work environment with millennials start accounting for the bulk of the workforce. Employees now are more aware of the many opportunities that await them and feel more empowered to make job choices. They look for job satisfaction not just in terms of pay but also as regards upward mobility, personal growth and creativity.

But what really is work-life integration? In the fast-paced, oftentimes brutal schedules and workload in the PR and marketing industry, working out that blurry line that divides career and personal life is indeed very important.

Whereas work-life balance as a concept pitted work and personal life as seemingly opposite poles competing for a person’s time, work-life integration posits managing both professional and personal goals simultaneously. Today’s digital-savvy professionals relate to this concept better, knowing that with technology they can actually integrate work and life and still succeed at both.

Here are a few tips toward integrating work and life:
For businesses
  • Optimize the annual company planning to include not just business goals and resource management but also career development, team building and other related matters. Activities that aim to improve relationships within the organization and help individual employees grow both as corporate citizens and individuals should be included in the budget planning for the year.
  • Set realistic team goals. This means factoring in resources and capabilities vis-à-vis targets. If the resources are inadequate, consider investing in training or expanding the workforce instead of (over)maximizing current staff. 
  • Line up activities that allow employees to relax, bond with each other or simply enjoy their successes at work. These regular get-togethers can be done in or outside the office. Besides the usual birthday, Halloween or other season-based celebrations, these can include videoke sessions, movie time and even community work. The last even provides a break from the confines of the office.
  • Review and monitor overtime work. Encourage employees to manage their time better so they can reduce the late hours and instead have more time for their family and personal interests.
  • Include time management and similar skill building initiatives in the company’s training program. These will empower employees to handle tasks better and keep to office hours.
  • Be creative. If budget and schedule constraints present a hurdle to implementing a comprehensive team-building program, think of simple activities that can incorporate some team-building principles.  Regular team assemblies, for example, can include a few minutes of ice breaker to relax and get to know everyone better. If there are people in the team who can teach dancing lessons or lead a zumba or yoga class, try organizing physical activities of these kinds one or more nights a week even within the office premises.
  • Be flexible as an organization. With commute hours in Metro Manila becoming longer and eating more into office time, it might help to consider allowing some team members to telecommute. More companies nowadays adopt a flexible working schedule. Opt for the setup that best suits your operations.
  • Make office life rewarding enough. Work-life integration is not simply about having time for personal life. It also means finding satisfaction in one’s work and realizing one’s potential. Recognize employees’ good work and let them know their contributions mean something to the company. Rewarding employees can take the form of incentives such as additional leave benefits, travel or even profit sharing. Sending employees to training outside the office doubles as a break from work.
For individuals
  • Make a plan for the medium term and short term in line with the year’s goals. Based on these plans and immediate work deadlines, create your plan for each day. It’s no rocket science why planners are in such strong demand at the start of each year. They work. For those who don’t want the additional load in their bags, there is a slew of apps for the same purpose that they can easily install in their phones or laptops.
  • Manage your schedule wisely. It’s relatively easy to list down tasks for the day. It’s quite another story to actually be able to accomplish most, if not all, and have all items ticked off at the end of each day. It is therefore of utmost importance to learn how to manage all deliverables. One secret is to divide huge projects into smaller tasks that can be done one at a time, building up to the ultimate deadline.
  • Delegate. For managers, this is a crucial skill that needs to be mastered. Note, however, that delegating is different from transferring responsibilities or ordering people around. The goal is to finish the task at hand involving more people.
  • Work as a team. PR work is mostly teamwork. From conceptualizing proposals to executing events, tasks involve working with a team. Learn to be a team player without compromising your ideas. 
  • Chill. Breathe in. Breathe out. It must be a conscious effort to relax. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Heads up, podkids: SM Supermalls teams up with #TheLinyaLinyaShow for a special ‘self-love’ podcast episode

Who said love month is just for couples? It’s for singles (a.k.a. self-partnered), too!

Let’s talk about self-love this Valentine’s season as SM Supermalls and The Linya-Linya Show team up for special podcast episodes featuring pop-doctor-slash-love-guru Gia Sison with show host Ali Sangalang!

“We value self-love just as much as any other forms of love. With our diverse retail offerings and leveled up malling experiences, we give our shoppers all the reasons to celebrate love at SM whether they are single or partnered,” said SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing Jonjon San Agustin.

With their crazy antics and playful banter, Ali and Doc Gia take listeners on a #WisdomWalk at SM Megamall as they talk about the true meaning of self-love in this day and age, and how they can practice it through the many fun lifestyle experiences available in SM malls nationwide.

Make sure to catch the latest #TheLinyaLinyaShow special podcast episode on Spotify here: While you’re at it, you may also listen to your favorite valentine hits on SM Supermalls’ “Pinoys In Love” playlist.

Join SM’s #MeForMe online promo for a chance to win a Linya-Linya shirt! Check out the @smsupermalls Faceboook page to know more. For updates on SM Supermalls’ latest activities and events, visit

Join the Century Tuna Superbods 2020 Go-see

Nadine Lustre and Alden Richards

Do you have what it takes to be a Century Tuna Superbod? This 2020, the country’s number 1 canned tuna brand says, “Everybod can be a Superbod!,” as it enjoins everyone to embark on the Superbod journey.

If you think you have what it takes to be this year’s Superbod, join the Manila go-see event at SM Mega Fashion Hall on February 22-23, 2020. The contest is open to men and women with Filipino heritage who are 18 to 60 years of age. Anyone within the age group can join as long as they have the passion for health and fitness as a means to become a better version of themselves. Thirty finalists (15 male and 15 female contestants will be chosen) will be selected in the final callbacks.
Finalists will be judged on the following criteria: 20% will be given for both their transformation story and social impact; then 30% will be awarded for body and personality, all totaling to 100%.

A total of ₱1,600,000 is at stake, with grand winners bringing home ₱500,000 each. Two runners up will both take ₱200,000 each while the rest of the 26 finalists will receive a ₱10,000 cash prize, along with other exciting perks and freebies.

For more details, visit Century Tuna’s Facebook page at #FishEveryDay #EverybodCanBeASuperbod #CenturyTunaSuperbods2020.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Conduent Market-Leading Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Management System to Fight Coronavirus

Company’s Flexible Platform, Maven®, Already Customized and Implemented by
Government and Health Organizations to Track, Manage and Report Confirmed
Coronavirus Cases

Conduent to Configure and Deploy Coronavirus Tracking Module for Additional
Government and Health Organizations Seeking Support 

MANILA, Philippines, February 18, 2020 — Conduent Incorporated (Nasdaq: CNDT) today announced a version of its disease surveillance and outbreak management platform, Maven®, to securely track, manage and report on cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, previously known as 2019-nCoV. 

Maven is a software platform developed for organizations, including government agencies, to manage cases of more than 90 communicable diseases. Its flexible design gives organizations the capability to customize disease tracking most prevalent in specific geographies or communities.  

Conduent will host the platform’s coronavirus-enabled version of Maven in the company’s secure cloud so public health agencies and other organizations can get immediate access to use it. Conduent expects its coronavirus module to be available within the month. Additionally, those with advanced training also can leverage the solution’s flexibility to customize the Maven platform on their own to track coronavirus. 

Based on an organization’s need, Maven has the capability to track diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis and Ebola. More than 40 organizations are currently using Maven, and some have already taken advantage of the platform’s flexibility by configuring it to track the coronavirus’s spread within their respective locations. Conduent is also actively facilitating sharing of best practices between clients as they configure their systems to track the outbreak.

“Maven is a valuable tool that organizations can use to identify and follow up on people who may have come into contact with a person infected with a communicable or infectious disease,” said Mark Brewer, President, Global Public Sector Solutions, Conduent. “In the absence of a vaccine, tracking and analyzing who is at risk from contact with an infected person is one of the most important methods available to contain diseases like the coronavirus and prevent widespread outbreaks.

“Maven’s technology is scalable and can be quickly and easily configured to changing technologies, protocols and geographic locations — all of which are keys to effective disease outbreak response. It is also designed to allow for easier data sharing and integration among health agencies on the front lines of battling the disease.”

Designed with rich contact tracing, outbreak management and detection, state and local health organizations can collaborate to quickly and effectively contain public health crises – a much-needed technology for countries such as the Philippines, which as of February 15, has reported three confirmed COVID-related cases and 487 persons under investigation.

Epidemiologists can use Maven’s reporting capability to search and analyze the centralized data collected to discover trends and patterns. Maven can also be used to report externally, supporting the need for automatic case reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, the World Health Organization, or local authorities. 

About Conduent  
Conduent delivers mission-critical services and solutions on behalf of businesses and governments – creating exceptional outcomes for its clients and the millions of people who count on them. Through people, process and technology, Conduent solutions and services automate workflows, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and enable revenue growth. It’s why most Fortune 100 companies and over 500 government entities depend on Conduent every day to manage their essential interactions and move their operations forward. 
Conduent’s differentiated services and solutions improve experiences for millions of people every day, including two-thirds of allinsured patientsin the U.S., 11 million employees who use its HR Services, and nearly nine million people who travel throughtoll systemsdaily. Conduent’s solutions deliver exceptional outcomes for its clients including $16 billion in medical bill savings, up to 40% efficiency increase in HR operations, and up to 40% improvement in processing costs, while driving higher enduser satisfaction. Learn more at 

Conduent operates in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) and in the Philippines (Cebu and Manila) as offshore and business process outsourcing arm of Conduent Inc.

Sunday, February 16, 2020


Discover the Magical Books: an Immersive Augmented Reality (AR) Reading Experience
 with 12 New Titles

(February 19, 2020) Manila, Philippines – Are you a parent with your child in tow for the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020? Rows upon rows of children’s books await! With books at 50% - 90% off recommended retail price, creating your own mini library at home will not be a problem at the World’s Biggest Book Sale. Get the perfect book to read aloud to your tot or get in some fun and learning for bath time. There are also board books, activity books, sticker books, books on religion, sound books, pop-up books and even books for older kids under readers.

Give your child a head start for kindergarten with books on the alphabet and numbers with ‘The Montessori Method’ book series about ‘Farms, ‘Shapes’, ‘Seasons’ and ‘Numbers’. The books are designed to stimulate the cognitive abilities of young children and colorful stickers included in the book add more fun to the activities. This will also help them get a strong foundation in early concept from recognition of shapes to counting.
Does your little one find it overwhelming when a book has too many words? Make learning more fun with ‘100% Full-Sized Bugs’ packed chock-full of colourful pages that depict insects in their actual size and fun facts like the giant bug can swim very well and even catch small fish and tadpoles. Once they have had their fill of bugs, let them explore what the animal kingdom has to offer with ‘100 Facts: Oceans’ and ’100 Facts Reptiles & Amphibians’.                                

To enhance their imagination, let them have a go at the pop-up books in store. In ‘Planet Pop-Up: Tiger Takes Off’, travel to the circus to meet a fearless flying tiger, penguins launching from a cannon, a roller-skating octopus and all of their acrobatic friends in this pop-up extravaganza with a surprise on every page. If that is not enough, let the little ones have fun listening to different sounds such as the splash of a puddle, clinking of coins and blare of a horn with ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.
There is no better way to expand upon your child’s vocabulary than to get them started on reading from young. ‘My Little Pony: The Princess Collection Box Set’ includes four stories of the adventures of the ponies and lessons about friendship along the way. Then, let the kids dive into the world of fairy tales with beloved characters from ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and ‘The Beauty and the Beast’.

Having trouble getting through a book from start to finish with your child? Is their attention often focused on smartphones and tablets? Whilst parents may stress about keeping their children gadget-free, the Magical Book series offers the best solution by combining the best of both worlds by using physical books and eye-catching Augmented Reality (AR) technology to revolutionize reading for the next generation. These books are available exclusively at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020, as the sole distributor of the books in Asia.
During the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2019, 6 books were introduced to rave reviews by Filipino parents who could not get enough of the Magical Book series. Due to popular demand, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila has brought back 12 brand new titles including ‘Frozen: A Sleepover Party and ‘Winnie the Pooh: Fun with First Words’. The Magical Book series are a great tool to assist the interaction between parents and their children through an immersive and interactive reading experience. There is a total of 18 titles available at the Sale including ‘ABC Fun with Mickey‘ and ‘123 Counting Fun with Mickey’ that magnifies the learning aspects of the books with activities such as tracing of letters and counting exercises.  Make the most of the buy 5 get 1 free promotion on selected Magical Books and discover brand new titles.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020 will be open for 24 hours straight from now until 24 February at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, Metro Manila. During the 11-day duration of the World’s Biggest Book Sale, more than 2 million English titles will be available at 50%-90% off recommended retail price and entry is FREE. The ‘Crazy Deals’ promotion will also be introduced for the first time in Manila, offering incredible further markdowns as low as ₱60.

Follow the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale’s social media pages for more updates:

Friday, February 14, 2020

5 fun ways to discover love at SM Supermalls

Inspiring love stories don’t just happen in the movies. This season of love, experience being the star in your own romantic film, along with other fun Valentine’s Day activities at SM Supermalls

“This love month, we have prepared unique activities to spread love and good vibes the whole month of February that all our shoppers  ̶  couples and singles alike  ̶  can enjoy,” said SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing Jonjon San Agustin.

Here are 5 fun ways to discover love at SM:

Love at Every Corner. Recreate scenes from some of your fave rom-com flicks by taking photos at IG-worthy displays and activations with iconic movie lines in from February 8-16.

Love A-fair. Make this season more memorable by joining fun, unique activities like chocolate molding, painting, and making flower arrangements at the Valentine’s Fair from February 8-16.

Two-for-One Deals. Romantic yet affordable date? SM says ‘yes’ to this! Go on a gastronomic day out with your significant other with 2 for 1 deals, freebies, and more available from February 8-16.

Our OST Playlist. From February 14-16, SM shoppers will be serenaded by the nostalgic movie soundtracks in the mall. You can make it more personal by sending over a special playlist for your secret crush!

14-word Love Story. Get a chance to win a staycation with your boo by sharing your 14-word love story with us on Facebook until February 28.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples! It’s the best time to love yourself, too. For updates, visit and its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts: @smsupermalls.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Solane provides cooking stations for Taal evacuees

Hundreds of evacuees affected by the eruption of the Taal Volcano became beneficiaries of the relief operations organized recently by top LPG solutions provider Solane.  Food, cooking equipment, and Solane LPG were generously provided to evacuees who were able to use the Solane LPG cooking stations set up by volunteers from the company.

Solane is happy to be giving back to the community in any way we can. Through this tragic incident, we saw the opportunity to step up by setting up cooking stations so we can provide hot and freshly cooked meals to as many evacuees as we can, said Isla LPG CEO Ruben Domingo.

Solane conducted a series of relief operations in various evacuation sites. At the Batangas Sports Complex, a team of Solane volunteers put up a cooking station to offer noodles and coffee to at least 3000 estimated evacuees. At the Batangas Provincial Capitol where more than 700 evacuees stayed, the Batangas Divers Association partnered with Solane to provide LPGs for their cooking station. Meanwhile, in Barangay San Jose, Batangas, Solane donated five sets of stove and LPGs to at least 900 evacuees.

The Taal relief operation is one of the several outreach initiatives of Solane in Batangas. Solane also regularly holds community drives such as barangay health initiatives, sports tournaments to promote a healthier lifestyle and good camaraderie, and Balik Eskwela to provide educational materials and school equipment to public schools.