We need to change the way we work

There is a lot of talk about new ways of working, flex working, remote, four-day weeks etc, but the one thing that is very often overlooked is how many hours we work.

There are many blogs and reports around the four-day week and quite often, it turns out that five days are stuffed into four. 

Creative agency life has always been full of pitches, deadlines and inevitably brings late nights especially when you are building your career. I have worked in agencies where this has been rife. Working through the night and then leaving from the office to the airport to present was not uncommon. I have interviewed people who have relayed stories of ‘Doing an all nighter’ as a medal of honour and your first one being rewarded with a sweatshirt and other (clean) clothing. 

Whilst I know some people work better under pressure and this can be something that helps some people produce their best work, there are other ways of implementing deadlines without the long hours. Let’s be honest not much is done in the early stages of a pitch.

I have never believed it has had to be this way, better planning, a good pitch triage process as well as proper resourcing should prevent this stressful environment, and for us it has. 

I am not saying we never have to work late and yes, we have an tight deadlines. However, since we started C+C nine years ago we have never done an all nightery and the office is empty by six almost every night. We also have a no long hour’s policy in place to help prevent this sort of behaviour.

There is a lot of talk about mental health, wellbeing, and the effects of stress both physical and mental in the work place. We know this isn’t the complete answer but it is part of the puzzle and changing the long hour culture of agency life has got to be better for our health.