COVID-19 has changed our everyday life and work in most industries. Many of the changes will continue in some way, post-pandemic. The creative industry is no exception. However, Adam Katz Google Creative Lab views this time as an opportunity to rethink the best way to hone the creative process and the way agencies engage with their clients.
One way the industry has adjusted to COVID-19 is in the pitch process. Before, members of the creative team traveled to the client’s business to pitch ideas in person; now, the process is virtual. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab finds that using software to pitch for new business enhances the ability to tell the creative story better and to zero in on critical elements before presenting the whole picture. Once lockdowns end, Adam Katz Creative Lab sees this trend toward the more creative use of software continuing.
Another way the industry is changing is how teams work together. During the shutdown, creative companies began using technology to move the creative process online. Once they did so, they realized that having a creative life in one space online made the process more efficient and fostered shared ownership. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab believes the rest of the creative industry will likely continue this method of work online and will, in turn, push software companies to continue to adapt and evolve as they provide even better technology.
During the pandemic, when the whole team has worked virtually, creative companies have realized that they can work collegially no matter the team member’s physical location. For Adam Katz Google Creative Lab, this means that members of the same team no longer need to reside in the same city, state, or even country. Agencies will feel more comfortable in the future with sourcing talent from a much wider pool, says Adam Katz Google Creative Lab. This wider pool will ultimately bring diversity to the industry and elevate the level of work.
Many creative companies also will consider whether having a physical office is still the best way to spend money. On one side, offices are expensive, especially if the team is working virtually, says Adam Katz Google Creative Lab. The agency might instead use this office rent to hire, train, or retain talent. On the other hand, some creative agencies may feel that their clients expect them to have an office and that their office communicates their brand in a way that a virtual office cannot, says Adam Katz Google Creative Lab.
Adam Katz Google Creative Lab is a New York-based creative director and designer who specializes in developing new ideas and new brands, helping companies build and evolve.
Companies across the country have had to adopt remote work practices in 2020 – whether they wanted to or not. For business leaders in charge of guiding teams through creative brainstorming, planning, and execution of ideas, this can be a very difficult time. Communication methods are different. Emotions are running high. Not being in the same physical space presents new problems.
Adam Katz Google Creative Lab knows that it can be a challenge to manage a stressed-out remote team while also trying to meet project deadlines and accomplish key tasks. But there are creative ways to help teams relax, focus, and get work done…even producing better results than they had seen before. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab have found these methods to be the most effective.
Online Challenges and Games
Find a way to regularly take a break with the team through challenges or games. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab reminds managers that there are many online activities that only take around 10 minutes, encourage creative thinking, and get everyone in the mood to solve problems. For creatives try drawing exercises or games, create fun challenges like designing a weekly playlist album cover or redesigning a new logo.
Rather than picking something at random, Adam Katz Google Creative Lab recommends discuss potential activities with your team and find something that the majority seem excited about to help increase participation.
Hold Reliable Performance Cycle Meetings
Adam Katz Google Creative Lab suggests picking a day of the week (Monday and Friday work best) and hold a performance cycle meeting with your remote team. Talk clearly about what you’ve accomplished, what remains to be done, and how things are going generally. Remote teams need this stability – it’s almost impossible to overcommunicate in these situations.
Especially if your remote team just got started, or is having trouble with online collaboration, Adam Katz Google Creative Lab recommends setting aside a period of time – either altogether or once per day – where each team member takes a turn and shows off their workspace. Talk about work that is being done, how it can be improved, and also home working hacks that people have instituted. This is an excellent way to get everyone used to remote work and more comfortable with each other.
Fun with Food
This doesn’t have to be a regular activity, but Adam Katz Google Creative Lab has seen great results with least one lunch where everyone makes or buys a food they like and shows it off, talking about why they like it or how it’s made. It’s an easy activity for everyone to take part in, and great for team building.
Remote work teams need to adopt online chat and communication systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams. These apps all support GIFs, and GIFs are a great way to lighten the workload and reduce stress. Managers don’t have to mandate the use of GIFs (although GIF battles can be a fun break), but Adam Katz Google Creative Lab have seen that at least encouraging, or having a GIF day each week, can really help teams bond while also getting things done.
Organize Times for More Casual Fun
Companies can also create weekly fun events and check-ins. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab for instance has his team create weekly DJ style playlists with cover art by a revolving team member to show off their skills!