As I’m writing this, we’re 65 days into lockdown. As a specialist pharma marketing agency, business certainly hasn’t stopped – we’ve actually had some of the busiest weeks in a long time.
But of course, we’ve been working from very different environments, with a variety of positives and challenges. One thing we’ve all had to do is adapt and learn things about how we work as individuals and a team.
Here’s our collective thinking about which new habits and practices we’ll be keeping when the COVID-19 pandemic is a thing of the past.
Honouring different working styles
One thing that’s really divided the Create Health crowd is the topic of productivity through remote working.
Some are finding this a very productive time and realising that they prefer working at home. Thriving in the silence of their home office, cumbersome commutes cut down, squeezing in lunch-hour workouts that weren’t possible before.
Others are getting distracted by their families, feel lethargic working in their ‘relaxation’ environment or are missing the input of their teams around them.
And all of those perspectives are valid and can be honoured in the ‘new normal’.
Agency environments have always thrived on shared energy and teamwork, and I dare say they always will. But we’re going to look at how to make work more flexible, so the whole of Create Health can work in the way that’s best for their own individual strengths and circumstances.
Living the green life
A coping strategy that has been really helpful for our team – almost unanimously across the board – is exercising and getting out into nature.
Of course, none of us were unaware that exercise, spending time in nature and eating healthy, home-cooked meals have massive benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. But finding the time in between family commitments, social lives and commuting isn’t always that easy.
Now that many of us do have that time to get active outdoors and prepare more nutritious foods, we’re all determined to keep making time when lockdown is lifted.
Remembering that the small things are the big things
While in lockdown, days can roll into one. So it’s amazing how much of a difference the little things can make: whether it’s a movie you’ve been looking forward to, trying a new recipe or taking a new route on your daily walk.
It’s helped us all appreciate the ‘small’ things and stop taking them for granted. Or as one of our Acccount Managers put it: “in normal life they would all feel like ‘filler’ activities – things I’d do while waiting to do something else – but they’re what keep me happy now!”
We hope to keep relishing a particularly pretty tree, family dinner at the table, and the thought that you’ve nowhere you need to be or nothing you need to be doing.
A revised 2020 vision
As a creative business, I can’t imagine going fully virtual ever – I personally love having an office to cycle to, a place filled with creative stimulus and a space bubbling with energy. However, lockdown has shown me we don’t need to maintain the working practices of yester years that usually come with an office.
Instead, when we return to the place we call home on Colston Street, I think we’ll adopt a much more fluid approach to desks, core hours and location – so we get the best from all our talent.
Another factor I’d love to maintain is the relationships we’ve strengthened and started with our clients. We’ve found it much easier to get hold of our clients and have been granted a digital window into each other’s living rooms.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that all good business is built by truly knowing the people you’re working with. Lockdown has reminded us to keep loving our clients, support their needs and stay nimble – that’s how we, as a specialist pharma marketing agency, will not only survive, but thrive post COVID-19.