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Locked down but locked in to a purpose


“Life can change quickly – we all need to help each other in order to succeed. Not just here in the office but in our daily lives.” – Josemaria (Joms) Hizon, ANZ Contact Centre Manager Manila.


Joms wearing the prototype beside his 3D printer

Like so many of us, during COVID lockdown Joms HIzon watched a bit of YouTube. But not just “the world’s least watched” or Olive and Mabel.


“I started watching YouTube videos on 3D printing and then it actually became an interest for me,” Josemaria – know to all as Joms - says.


What initially started out as something interesting to fill the time while isolated at home in Manila quickly transformed into a conduit for helping protect others throughout this global health crisis.


Joms purchased a 3D printing machine around the height of the pandemic. After immersing himself in it and experimenting with a few prints, he noticed people around him selling face shields  created by 3D printers.


However, making a profit from printing was never a consideration for Joms. “I thought about my ANZ colleagues on the frontline who needed face shields,” Joms recalls.


“My first thought was to distribute [the face shields] to the team here.”


A very different environment


Joms is the Contact Centre Manager for the issuing disputes team in Manila. The team is primarily responsible for handling inbound calls for issuing disputes (for example, if a customer places an order  online and the item doesn’t arrive or is defective, they call Jom’s team to dispute the credit card transaction).


As is the case for so many others, the past few months have posed many unique challenges. “The start of the extended community quarantine was especially challenging for us,” Joms says. “We had to physically relocate resources like desktops and drive them to our staff [at home] so we could remain productive.”


Around 75 per cent of ANZ staff in Manila are working from home* and staff required to be in the ANZ building are transported to and from the office by hired vans.


“We’re trying to minimise instances where people have to take public transport,” Joms explains. “The public transport system here isn’t ideal, especially during these times. Public transport is mainly repurposed vans – there would be almost 10 people in one small van so it did raise concerns for us from an infection standpoint.”


Giving back


Although the eventual plan is for Joms is to distribute the masks and face shields to his ANZ colleagues out on the frontline (staff members who are customer facing, for example in branches), he’ll first start to distribute them to his own team.


”I think it’s a good start,” Joms says.


Always learning

“My biggest lesson through all of this is how quickly life can change,” Joms reflects. “We all need to help each other in order to succeed – not just here in the office but in our daily lives.”


*as at 10 June 2020


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