An inclusive and dynamic environment is where many team players find their strength. This is particularly true for the creative space, where humour and ideas literally bounce off the walls.
However, the virtual working world that has been beckoning for so long has now been thrust upon us – and definitely not in an ideal way. Trying to juggle calls, clients, online meetings and family needs, as well as creative isolation can take a toll.
So how have creatives faced this challenge?
For me, the initial phase of lockdown was the hardest. Working at home with four school-going children, a soon-to-be-finished Masters’ student, and an energetic husband whose site office was closed in Level 5, posed several challenges. Add to this a crazy guinea fowl tapping on the window behind me, chickens roaming through the always open doors, an African Grey laughing inappropriately during online meetings and stealing sips of my very precious tea – home was not the ideal workspace.
Aside from the increase in noise and demands on my attention and time, the main challenge was actually switching from ‘Work-Mode’ to ‘Mom-Mode’ after so called – “working hours”. I work half day but found it impossible to keep my hands off my keyboard in the afternoons and evenings, unable to define my own boundaries and determined to show my value in these uncertain economic times.
I soon realised that finding a balance was key to being creative, developing good content and working with my team – and family – effectively. Taking a tea break to walk outside, admire my succulent gardens, get in a little sun and movement, nourished my soul. Positioning my workspace in a sunny spot in the “hub” of the home may have seemed counter-intuitive – but it made for less yelling (MOM – What can I eat? Where is the cable for my laptop?), allowing for a more peaceful space.
Listening to an endless stream of webinars and podcasts, in an effort to stay informed and get ahead of the game, did the opposite, diluting my concentration and focus on my key deliverables. I needed to be more selective, and curate even my “white noise” choosing one playlist to run on repeat on my music app, which centred and gave me a clearer focus.
While all I have seen of my colleagues is their online personas (via Teams meetings and regular and entertaining WhatsApp chats) they have clearly managed to get their “groove on” despite the challenges of remote working. Some have alternated with some days in the office and some at home, others have shared parenting time with spouses, while some have carved out a quiet space in their bedrooms away from the family hubbub.
This success is patently evident in the incredible creative content that has been flowing across my screen and out into the client and cyber space. It is clear that despite a pandemic of Covid-19 magnitude, regardless of the refrain that we are not merely working from home, but are at home during a crisis, trying to work, this team is solid. It has what it takes to weather the storm, creating beyond boundaries and building our clients’ brands – together.
So, if your brand is experiencing the Lockdown Blues, get in touch and let our team breathe (with masks and social distancing in place) a breath of fresh air your way.