Never before has there been a bigger opportunity to chuck out the rule book and do things differently. The world threw us a curveball but what we saw was a huge warning sign that the work world was off-kilter. So, in typical Avatar style, we have taken the opportunity to do something about it.
Firstly though, a huge thank you to our team and clients who have remained loyal and resilient throughout one of the toughest times our world has seen. I see this blog as a time-capsule of change, that will be stored on the internet as a legacy of this time.
Sadly, it took a pandemic for us to see it, but as an agency that prides itself on its agility, this shift is for our team and clients now and in the future.
Here’s how we have shifted to align with the new work world:
Lesson learnt: If you want a great team, let them choose how great they can be.
Whoever came up with the phrase “work-life balance” got it totally round the wrong way and it has kept our work-world in the wrong driving gear for too long. One of the biggest shifts we will be making as an agency is to continue flexible home working. Our team have proven that working from home does work and we have even seen some team members excel and thrive in their home environments. So who are we to stand in the way of forward progression. From now, or if you like we can backdate this to 23rd March 2020, we will remain steadfast as a team but from wherever we work best.
Lesson learnt: Being together is important to foster relationships, share ideas and maintain culture.
Our culture is our identity and farm-life is our home base. For 8 years now it has been where we have laughed, cried, celebrated and eaten more pizza than I care to remember so it would be wrong of us to pull up our firmly planted routes. Instead, we have chosen to scale back our square footage and offer, not an office, but a creative hub, open for all. Now instead of having a side for account management and a side for designers we have one, open-plan, creative, collaboration, deep-thinking space (I think we need something snappier to call it!). Either way, it is where we will come together to be amazing. When it is safe to do so, clients who need a change of scenery shall also be more than welcome to join us.
The small stuff matters
Lesson learnt: We live in an always-on culture so the mental health and welfare of our team are paramount to us.
They dashed between meetings, they scoffed their lunch, they commuted in and out every day… on top of that, they balanced it all with family life, leaving no time for personal life. By personal life, I mean “you time”. The selfish time that is a dirty word never spoken out loud. Dedicating so much time to work makes it too easy to put the single most important person in the back of the queue. But we say, no more! We don’t want the dining room table to become the new ball and chain so we are introducing Reset Time. Dedicated to wellness and mental health our team can choose to do whatever they would like; volunteer with a charity, ride their bike all day, visit a spa, the choice is theirs. Without eating into their holiday allowance, as long as it does not involve screen time anything goes.
Bring your best mate to work
Lesson learnt: Dogs just make the world a better place. Enough said.
Not the two-legged type, although they are very welcome, we are referring to the four-legged type. We know the majority of our team would love to own a dog but leaving it at home was never an option, well now, there is no need to worry. Being surrounded by acres of rolling fields there is nowhere better to work, rest and play. On the days the team can choose to work from the office fur-babies can come too.
Share the love
Lesson learnt: We have a power worth sharing.
Why should we keep our creative power to ourselves? We are allowing the team to put forward and decide together the one project every year that we will donate our time to. Whether it be for a charity or a special project close to their heart as long as it is a passion project and we can make a difference we will collaborate to bring it to life.
Lesson learnt: When the brief and the mind is open, anything is possible.
Talking control of the narrative, we are allowing our team to tackle any world problem they feel needs solving. We are introducing “Creatives Let Loose”. This is our opportunity to be inspired by the world around us and to use whatever creative inspiration and marketing means we have to turn it on its head. We aim to tackle stigma, cultural barriers and legacy thinking to curate the brief and present it to some industry-leading brands. Some we will win, some we will learn but we set the pace and possibilities. With an anything-is-possible attitude, we can shift minds and change perspectives.
As we move forward we will continue to change and adapt to the world around us, whatever curveball it throws next.