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Always Thinking

We think (a lot) about everything from sushi to voter registration to SNL skits. Mostly, though, we think about all things branding and marketing. Dive in to some of our latest thoughts.

2021 and Beyond: Office Life Post COVID

Are you in head-scratching mode over the best model (hybrid/remote/in the office full-time) for your team moving forward? We’ve been hard at work solving that same challenge and have started to implement our plan. As we pondered how to move forward, we put on our discovery and research hats. We’ve been talking to each team member, studying data, and reading all the different POV articles arguing different approaches. We know that depending on the organization, different models will work better than others. For us, we realized this was an opportunity to ask ourselves some big questions about what we really need to do great work – and what our space and model do to support our brand experience overall – while taking into account the bigger workforce and employment trends in play. Here are some of the questions we pondered and the answers they revealed:

 

What does an actual location/office mean to our brand? If we use this as an opportunity to reconsider location and space, what do we really need? What will be missing from our brand experience (for clients and staff) if we go fully remote?

 

A Mindpower HQ means a lot to us. We are not an agency that wants to be fully remote. We like to be together as a team: to collaborate, to celebrate, to invite others in. You can try to do this without a space to call your own, but it’s just not the same. A space that reflects the vibe of our team/the ethos of our brand is meaningful – to us and, from what we’ve heard, to our clients and partners. And, as the world starts gathering again, we can’t wait to go back into host mode!

 

Do we all need to be in the office every day? What good things came out of our remote work experience this past year? What can we learn from it to apply to how we work moving forward?

 

Well, no, we don’t need to be together in person every day to feel connected as a team. We’ve proven that. We learned that we thrived with some flexibility. That our productivity was high throughout the wildness of the past year. And that the happiness level in some ways went up when it came to doing our work. When you have a team of hardworking, deep-thinking individuals the work happens at different times, all hours of the day. Trying to shoehorn our team back into a 9–5+ in the office setting doesn’t make much sense. And, as we’ve expanded, we now have team members based in the D.C. area and Los Angeles. These individuals will always be remote, so we used this to inform our thinking, too. They are as integral to this organization as anyone based in Atlanta, so rethinking how we collaborate had to happen regardless. It’s important that ALL team members feel part of the whole. And by not requiring full time in the office, it opens up talent recruitment opportunities that would otherwise be impossible.

 

What does each individual on our team really want? We posed the question “if you could wave your magic wand and create your ideal version of hybrid/remote/in the office full-time, what would it look like?”

 

The answers varied but seemed to track closely to the types of personalities/brains/talents drawn to certain career paths. We found that those team members who were in agency management and account management roles tended to lean toward more in-the-office time. Our creative leads, writers, and designers wanted to be in for key meetings, face time with colleagues, and some collaboration, but when it came to needing time for deep creative focus, they felt more productive at home, away from the distractions (noise) of an office environment. This makes sense, of course, but until you ask the question you really never know. That said, everyone wanted some flexibility and the opportunity to do some remote work. After listening carefully and assessing what made sense with running the day-to-day business of the agency along with how to allow for optimal conditions for creative development and research, we’ve moved forward with a hybrid model that leans more “in the office” for agency management and account management roles (3+ days per week) and more remote for all other roles (1+ days per week for Atlanta-based staff). We call it a 3+ and 1+ model (with our D.C. and Los Angeles team members fully remote).

 

Lessons we learned in the process so far:


#1 – Make it about your brand. Your organization. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach as we all figure out what’s next for our organizations.

 

#2 – Know there’ll be some bumps. Not everyone will agree. But if you apply good logic, that can be your compass. You can’t base decisions solely on the team in place. You have to consider the functions of the job. And what your team needs to be successful. And, ideally, those two things align. Look for those intersections.

 

#3 – Create a plan based on what makes sense for your organization and the times we live in. And get ready to refine it. Don’t stop collecting data. Don’t stop talking to your team.

 

We’re two weeks into rolling this out. Yes, there have been a few bumps, but we’re all committed to figuring it out together. If you need any friendly counsel as you navigate these big decisions for your organization, feel free to reach out. As always, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.

 

Onward and upward.

Posted under BRANDING

Mindpower Inc.·337 Georgia Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312