Remote Creativity: Can It Be Successful?

Technology has, does, and will continue to develop new opportunities and potential in all aspects of our lives. Personal and professional pursuits benefit from the continued conception and perfection of new tools and processes for getting things done. Recently, we’ve been forced to further embrace the technological landscape around us. Thankfully, as we’re all pretty much digital natives these days, the transition was fairly smooth.

There are many industries that, at no fault of their own, have been turned absolutely inside out. However, many have been able to adapt—continuing to operate at or above pre-pandemic levels. No one’s goal should be to make massive profits off of a global crisis, but a business is a business. We can’t blame those who are continuing operations during such unprecedented times, as long as they’re acting ethically.

One of the hottest topics about mid-pandemic life, is that of remote work. Since the beginning, I’ve really hoped that the phoenix rising from these COVID ashes will be a renewed sense of work-life balance.

Specifically in regards to remote work and schedule flexibility.

However, in an industry based heavily on collaboration, interpersonal communication, and relationships: will remote work, work?

The Creative Environment

There is no such thing. There are popular ones, common ones, simple ones. But no one. Every creative functions best on different projects, and in different environments. Remote work could actually be considered a welcome refresher for many in the industry.

No matter how high-end, or uniquely designed; office space can never recreate every person’s most inspirational setting.

Remote work allows creatives to seek out places where they know they will be optimally inspired, and subsequently, optimally productive. Post-pandemic, this believed abstraction will ring even more true. If a creative feels like their best work will be concepted at a quaint coffeeshop-bookstore hybrid downtown, or by the beach? Believe them.

The best creative environments are without restriction, limit, or forced direction.

Collaboration Deprivation

Remote work may seem like a killer of collaboration, something truly considered a pinnacle of creativity. However, society has proved those with this belief wrong. Over the past few months, organizations and individuals from every industry, and walk of life, have found ways to make and maintain effective digital connections.

Now, collaboration doesn’t always need to be physically centralized. Each creative can exist in their preferred environment, while partaking in thought-provoking, idea-expanding conversation and teamwork.

Of course, you can’t recreate the passing around of scribbled copy, scratchy renderings, or glued-together vision boards online. There is great benefit to physically manipulating materials, together. So, when it’s safe—physical collaboration could, and should resume.

However, let’s reimagine the processes that surround it. Streamline them, so that these physical moments are optimized and only occur when necessary. I foresee a hybrid model working particularly well for nearly any and every creative role.

Team Mentality

If you’re not in the office every day, seeing everyone you work with, your sense of belonging will start to diminish. You’ll misplace priorities, and disconnect from your responsibilities.

Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to bring the feel of your team, online. Set up times for coworkers to chat about non-work related things. Acquire brand, and even team-specific merchandise for your employees to incorporate into their work spaces. Change teams up more frequently, when working remote. This way, your employees continue to recognize and understand the breadth and depth of your organization.

When it’s safe: create physical team events, and outings. Prioritize time spent together, in person, for team and relationship building. Then, let work happen wherever it happens best.

What are your feelings about remote work for highly creative organizations/teams/individuals? What do you think work will look like when, “life gets back to normal?” Let’s think it out, below!

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