No more wigs and hats but still staying creative together. One year later
Yes, who would have thought it. This week was the week exactly one year ago where we at 20.20 put our computers under our arms and went home.
12 months ago, we were entering an unknown future and we asked ourselves, will remote working become our biggest creative challenge yet? Will it make us all more flexible? More innovative? More focused?
Well I think that’s a resounding yes to all the above. We have certainly done new exciting things and been virtually where we have never been before. There’s so much new invention, so many new ideas and lots of good we hope will come out of this time, we hope.
So how is it all going?
The wigs and hats are off. The daily routine is now normal and the thought of travelling to work feels like a distant memory and one we may not do as often as we did.
Together is definitely better. We are craving connections, real people, real meetings and real hugs. You can’t keep that from us for much longer. A good friend mentioned to my colleague the other day that this is not “working from home, this is living at work”. That’s exactly what this is. Our daily routines and behaviours have changed.
I haven’t worn shoes for a year, I’ve only just started wearing socks, I have a large lockdown beard and I do house chores when making lunch. Working at home, well that’s just what we do, we’ve become so used to it.
It’s still really important for us to keep our culture going, enjoy each other’s company, chat about other things other than work. Our monthly Big Breakfast meetings are still themed and hosted. We still do our morning huddle, it’s a really nice way to start the day. There is light at the end of the WFH tunnel and when we are back in the studio we will continue some of these new rituals, although I might wear socks and trim the beard.
We finished an intensive and wonderful new piece of work for our European client Austrian Post recently who were, rightly so, adamant that Lockdown must not get in the way and that we must have face to face meetings. We did the workshop together and then Lockdown properly kicked in, in both countries. Speaking to them the other day, they said they had the best experience working with us ever, loved the process, loved the work and enjoyed the online meetings. It worked, it’s working.
With our social lives on pause we still need to react, work, create and deliver beautiful ideas and future visions for our clients. Creativity doesn’t have a switch. It will never turn off.
One of the hardest things we have found is nurturing young talent. It’s very difficult if you are new to a role, young without experience, it’s easy to get lost, stuck, shall I call to ask this question…The students just out of University trying to get a job, its so difficult to become part of something bigger in our industry.
Every year we mentor at Middlesex University on a competition run by Lynda Relph-Knight that has real clients setting real briefs to students across the land. It's excellent and this year was no different, we couldn’t wait to start. It did work, it was inspiring to see the standard, enthusiasm and passion. It was successful but it was so much harder to do, harder to connect and support. It just wasn’t natural and you need a natural environment in education, a place, a purpose, a reason.
The key to creativity is communication, there’s no reason that we can’t stay home, stay in touch, and stay inspired. Like other industries, we’re getting on with what we do best but the tone is changing.
What we need right now is more humanity. The familiar “good mornings” rather than the less familiar “hands up who’s wearing pyjama trousers?”
We are a family of creative souls and we believe in the importance of feel-good energy. Where there is fun, there is creativity. This whole experience has served as an unexpected reminder of the importance of enjoying what we do. We want to be excited to share our work. If anything, being apart actually amplifies a sense of surprise when our ideas have developed in unexpected directions.
The world is still on lockdown, we are still creating, we are still a family that’s bonded together by our values. We want to physically see each other again and meet with our clients in person. It’s all new, but it’s what we used to do
We are ready.
Let me out.