We all have that one colleague who has everything you may need. In our case, colleagues. Even with strict social distancing connecting with their suki is never a problem. Like everybody else, they harness the magic of the fingertips.

Xilium Marketplace was created to accommodate employees who “have something to share.” This isn’t for the faint wallets though, because joining the group can spell giving into delectable food or impulse buying. It’s also interesting to note that we have plenty of sellers who help each while keeping the competition healthy, and VMA Charmaine can attest to that.

“The company has a good pool of buyers because people here are appreciative. Other business-minded colleagues also help me expand my business up until Facebook Marketplace,” shared Charmaine. 

But expanding the business outside the workplace entails more attention and effort in accommodating more buyers. Our own facility officer has his share of challenges in juggling work and his small food business. Jeffrey has been making hit deep-fried peanuts and cashews with garlic chips, frozen coconut salad, and creamy vanilla chocolate ice candy which earned him a large following even before joining the company.

Jeffrey always reminds himself that consistency is key in any food business because his customers can tell when his snacks taste differently. This compels him to be disciplined in preparing his products and in managing his time. “I need to relax so I can prepare them by feel. Rushing can affect the taste and my customers complain,” he said.

Even with a flexible work schedule, Jeffrey sees to it that he prioritizes his job. Using social media, he gets orders days ahead and delivers them on a scheduled basis, usually before going to work. This isn’t the case for Charmaine, though. HIPAA prohibits using mobile phones while at work, which led to several cancellations for the late response. On the bright side, she believes this helped her improve her marketing strats and persuasion skills.

Added to that are the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic. Charmaine’s commission is greatly affected just to work around many of her buyers’ budgets. Jeffrey has to work harder now after his wife lost her job due to the outbreak. Nevertheless, they press on because they have to and they can. Work-life balance is almost synonymous with our culture. Though our VMAs work the night shift, they have all their weekends and free time for their families, hobbies, and side economic activities.