By now, we all know that we can no longer thrive in the offices of old, and that’s true across the board — whether you’re an independent agency or network.
Instead of the confining static spaces we once spent our workdays in, we need a fresh perspective. We should be building the workplace of the future as an ecosystem that is capable of hosting a variety of people, lifestyles and experiences.
Here are five elements of a resilient ecosystem that will allow agencies to thrive.
1. Start thinking of productivity as a function of well-being
Employee well-being is about more than clocking out early on a Friday — it’s about enabling people to perform at their best without sacrificing their personal responsibilities.
It’s incumbent on agencies to ensure that employees feel supported and are able to keep up with everyday demands. We must strive to create an environment that supports personal enrichment as a key tool in enhancing productivity.
2. Create an ecosystem where people can work and collaborate from anywhere
After a year of working from our own fragile bubbles, we have witnessed the toll of isolation. However independent we might like to think we think we are, we need each other — and that’s a good thing.
A thriving ecosystem should provide the benefits of in-office working (community, idea-sharing, and solidarity), regardless of whether we are physically together.
We need to build systems and a mindset that allows us to seamlessly collaborate within virtual or real spaces.
3. Recognize that compassion is your agency’s most important nutrient
have to be ready to feed our teams and workplaces with good nutrients: compassion, empathy, diversity, purpose, and belonging.
This should be fundamental to how our agencies are structured, and how we view success and productivity.
We can be brimming with passion, but if our environment is suffocating, there’s no oxygen for that passion to grow into an impactful project.
4. Capture the energy you’ve been storing up over the past year
And as we move into the next chapter of the agency experience, how we focus our energy and put it to use will be a silver bullet.
With the demands of clients moving toward more agile, flexible working environments, the teams that bring the energy (and talent) will win. That doesn’t mean that there is no place for introverts — energy can be manifested in the quiet determination that is required to crack a tough brief.
As agencies, we need to think about how to keep those energy levels high, and remember that any flower drowns with too much water.
5. Stop worrying about being perfect and start focusing on proactive change
An agency is never finished. An ecosystem continuously evolves as environments change and nature takes its course. We have to be ready for similar changes.
There’s no "perfect" agency. There’s just an acceptance that we’re in a dynamic environment of change and that we must always be ready to adapt.
The bottom line
As we imagine the world as it could be, it’s clear that if agencies want to continue to thrive, then we will need to build resilient ecosystems that can work quickly and flexibly to meet the needs of modern brands.
If we’re going to make work that has an impact — work that we can be proud of — then embracing this approach will be a decisive factor in harnessing the talent that will make it possible.