Craft and collaboration - How has creativity been affected by the new ways of working?

By James Maxwell on Tuesday, 13 October 2020

How has each element of creativity been affected by the new ways of working we’ve all had to adjust to?

Our article on this very subject was recently published in Creativepool, and it’s there you can find our insights, as well as snippets of stories from our lovely creative folk. And a fun video too!

But it’s these stories that we want to shed more light on. In our last blog, we heard from two of our creative lot about their experiences working remotely and how it’s affected their craft and how they collaborate.

This time, we’ve asked four more of our team how they’ve found the new normal, and their overall views on how it’s affected their craft and how they collaborate.

SPENCER DAVIES Head of Integrated Design

Personally, I dreaded the thought of working from home. I thought it would be isolating and I’d become a hermit. The opposite is true - I’ve found I’ve been able to concentrate, craft and think like never before.

I don’t think this is a flash in the pan. This is the next stage of automation and will be partially permanent - your office is now your laptop, not where you physically sit.

Being honest, I’ve always found an office a little strange for creatives, it’s an odd concept to be sat in rows like hens, churning out work.

But, there’s no substitute for team collaboration. I think this is where a creative hub (used to be called an office!) can be used. Get a team in to brainstorm a new pitch or project, even just for half a day. But collaboration is key.

PAUL VOSLOO Senior Brand Designer

I used to think I had ADHD at times, but now I blame it on open plan offices. Some days I don’t leave my desk until lunchtime, so I’m definitely having much longer periods of concentration. I hardly drink tea in the day now as I don’t get distracted and need to go wandering.

Not travelling in everyday has probably had the biggest impact to overall stress. With that out the way, it’s easier to deal with the ups and downs of work challenges. I realised the commute added quite an intense bracket onto the day.

On video meetings…they have mostly gone very well. Saying that, I do miss being in a room presenting to clients for the bigger creative presentations. I think the energy is better.

So we can see there are similar themes cropping up about how perceptions have changed for the positive. But also that a blended approach could be highly beneficial. It seems inviting teams in to work together face-to-face where possible for pitches and big brainstorms could help us achieve the best of both worlds.

And what about when we can’t see each other in person? Well, Tim has an answer for us.

TIM GLISTER Creative Director

Having the time to focus without distraction has given me more opportunity to concentrate on work, but this comes with having to keep much more in touch with people about timelines and deadlines.

In terms of collaboration it’s very easy to fall into a creative bubble/echo chamber when you’re remote, but as long as you’re strict with organising brainstorming and catch-up sessions and harnessing tech like Teams, Getty, moodboards etc. then it can be great.

Tim makes some good points, but what about the wider team and culture?

MIKA SYMANSKA Producer/Editor

I don’t feel that I’ve lost touch with colleagues as I make sure that I talk to people (work & social), and that I engage with office online activities. However, I appreciate that we all engage with work affairs differently. I think that every single one of us will have to change our attitude in order to adapt and to keep some of the office culture alive.

After all, what makes a great office? It’s the people, the culture, the collaboration of great minds, the energy. Which is difficult to build online, if it wasn’t already there. And assuming that we are all responsible individuals who value their work, if we don’t collaborate how will we be able to judge someone else’s performance or feel judged fairly by others?

This is a great place to round things up, as it’s close to the conclusion we came to in our article. That, yes, there are many challenges facing us at the moment thanks to the distance between us. But if we work together, there’s nothing we can’t overcome.

After all, we’re all creative in our own right and it’s by thinking outside the box and thinking of each other that we can find a solution that works for everyone.