Saturday, May 2, 2020

Work at Home: A talent marketplace helping Pinoy artists & freelancers to earn during COVID-19

“Work at Home” is an online talent marketplace for people in the Philippines that aims to turn isolation into inspiration.

With various stages of lockdown - from enhanced to general community quarantine - still enforced, many Filipino workers have been greatly affected. Daily wage earners are on a “No work, no pay” basis. Work from home has now become the “new normal” with mostly only essential businesses allowed to open.

What if you can provide your services, talents, or skills while still quarantined at home or if you choose to work at home under the “new normal”? Anyone interested to hire you can then avail of the service and pay you for it – all done remotely. Wouldn’t that be great?

Now, you can work at home, too! A technology-based solution for struggling workers in a lockdown situation is now available. You can work remotely in the comfort of your own home with “Work at Home”. This modernized solution to unemployment comes in this time of lockdown but will continue to be relevant in a different world it left behind.


The COVID-19 public health crisis has dealt a severe blow to the economy of the Philippines as mass layoffs and no-work-no-pay occur more frequently. Over one million people nationwide have lost their jobs as a consequence of community quarantine rules in the country. More than 400 economic zones were under lockdown and approximately 700 factories have been shut down.

Metro Manila and several provinces across the country remain under enhanced community quarantine, with other areas transitioning to general community quarantine. The lockdown mode is marked by stay-at-home orders and suspension of most work and mass transportation to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The quarantine is expected to be lifted in mid to end of May 2020, but doubts remain over how soon different sectors will recover. Daily wage earners are desperate to find food and live on a day by day basis and are turning online to find opportunities.

People in the Philippines and around the world are turning to the internet to do their work and stay connected with others as the COVID-19 outbreak forces people to stay home and away from the office and crowds. The number of internet users in the Philippines grew to almost 70 million people, accounting for more than half of the total population. Going digital is inevitable and a lot - if not all services - are now available online.


The Coronavirus pandemic is likely to permanently change our life as habits, businesses, and government agencies have adapted to the online trend in order to run their services in the “new normal” environment.

Social distancing is leading everyone in the world to new, innovative ways of consumer engagement, which is believed to stay as a trend even after COVID-19. For this very reason, it is crucial to start implementing a pivot or adaption in the way we pay for the skills that are rendered by workers.

Our team developed “Work at Home”, a platform that will provide a new way for Filipino people to showcase their skills and earn money. Our platform aims to reduce the job crisis and empower the working class. Thus, helping them to stand on their own during and after the pandemic era.

The platform is a gig economy community with freelancers from diverse specialties in technology. It also gives opportunity to Filipino artists to showcase their skills and earn from their talents. Offline professionals from teachers, doctors, haircutters and even plumbers can post their skills to connect with more clients by promoting their services online.

How it Works?

This tech-based solution is a stalwart to present a venue to all Pinoy artists and freelancers who are in lockdown situation but need to continue their works during new normal life. Artists can plug their skills and talents online with the right professional fee indicated and controlled by themselves.

Example: “We can dance on your music video for 4000 pesos”, “I can sing on your wedding for 5000 pesos”, I will create a beautiful logo design for your company for 2000 pesos”. This promotion made by the talent will be viewable in the web platform as well as the mobile apps. Any kind of client (can be companies or fellow artists) who is searching for a freelance service may able to visit our platform and for book it. The payment for the talent will enter into a tech design that there is no real middleman required to complete the process.

The Process: 1) When the client books the “raket” of the talent, 2) the client then deposits the specified amount to OBRA’s FinTech payment system. 3) The talent will be notified to start to render the service. 4) Inside the platform, there is a built-in chat where they can discuss details and updates of the raket. 5) When the task is complete, the deposited amount will be automatically sent to the talent's bank account.

In this technological advancement, “Work at Home” prevents online scam because the money is in the middle of both parties and can only be touched after rendering the service. In an event that there is a dispute, the deposited money can be refunded to the client or can be divided depending on the situation.

Main barriers implementing the solution

The Philippines is made up of over 7,600 islands, making internet networks particularly hard to build.  The government also charges “high fees,” a deterrent to any start-ups or foreign investors in setting up infrastructures. Slow adoption of relatively faster connections keeps mobile Internet speeds slow.

Also, most Filipinos rely on free data services offered by such apps as Facebook and the lockdown has further trimmed down the access of people who are saving their data and not going to sites that use up data to access.

Since the platform involves technology, there will be some barriers to the older generation because of the fact that many are simply not confident in their ability to learn about and properly use smartphones. With many people working into their senior years, our team would keep it mind that it is important that they learn to adapt with this new technology by keeping it simple and offering customer support.

The Impact

The disruption made by the pandemic has caused an acceleration of remote working. Like Zoom that has become the posterchild of the Covid-19 technology, “Work at Home” is projecting a big social impact in the Philippines as the interest for online job-hunt surges during the crisis.
A time of crisis is also an opportunity for our team to look into the future, helping Filipinos adjust to impending threat, and building their capacity to be prepared. Our mission is to assist artists and the working class to become more digitally-minded as they embrace technology while working from home.

People who are not used to the ”new normal” will be forced to work with technology since there is no other way to move forward but to go online. As most industries embraced remoteness because of social distancing, human habits will be always integrated with technology. Artists, professionals, and the working class would be adapting the current trend to earn income for them to continue life normally with no uncertainties in living on a day to day basis.

The Coronavirus pandemic taught human beings a lesson - that it is easier to solve real life problems and challenges with the help of people who may not be physically present at your side. There is a way to move forward in life if we embrace technology in our lives.

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