The Importance of Rest and What Agencies Are Doing About It – Part 2

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Following Michaela Coel’s inspirational acceptance speech at the Emmys, where she hinted at the importance of rest for nurturing creativity, we asked members of The Drum Network in the advertising industry to share the practices they have in place to encourage employees to listen to their needs and reset when necessary.

In an era when personal care is too popular and after a year of working from home, what wellness trends are here to stay? And how can agencies better integrate them into the professional life of their employees? With the cultural buzz talking about the importance of taking stock, what have we learned about improving the way we navigate between work-life balances? Have we really changed our measures of success – or are we still living in an era of fast paced automated transactions? A number of industry experts share their thoughts.

Yesterday we published Part 1 of this article, so read on to find out what other industry insiders had to say about the importance of rest.

James Sandford, Managing Director, Propellernet

For me, the first thing is to ensure time to rest by setting goals for sustainable growth for the whole company. We recognize the importance of ensuring a strong and flexible wellness policy and events program for all of our employees, but this can very quickly be undone if a business falls into the common trap of unsustainable growth. It’s often a part of agency life and we’ve all experienced it before, but rapid growth, while exciting, often causes issues to grow faster than revenues.

We prioritize manageable growth goals across the business that allow our teams to develop effectively with our goals. Sometimes this can see us bringing up waiting lists for new clients as we build these teams – this is not a bad thing and directly benefits the client as they will hire a fully integrated team in the business. agency that it is. purchase.

We outfit our team to a maximum of 70% to ensure they have enough space for downtime throughout the day. We also offer one day per month for dedicated learning and development so they can focus on their own growth and career development. These two initiatives allow the team to have a space to enjoy the wellness program that we have put in place.

We have set up unlimited vacations to ensure that everyone can take the time to relax throughout the year. We are aware that other companies that have implemented this have seen the opposite, with people not taking enough vacations. With that in mind, we have also introduced a minimum of 28 days per year and are reminding people to take them if they are falling behind.

All of this, we hope, means that we have sufficient measures in place to prevent burnout. However, in the event that a member of our team begins to feel exhausted, we have a dedicated pastoralist, as well as seven mental health rescuers.

We have also introduced a new self-care fund to support all those who take care of themselves. This can be used to cover anything to promote their own wellness – from gym memberships and yoga classes to Headspace memberships.

Luke Nava, Marketing Manager, Reception

Sometimes the permission to rest – knowing that it is good to take a break – comes from our agency and its culture. The table tennis table in the office which encourages us to stretch our legs and chat. The boss who wonders why we are working late, rather than ignoring or encouraging him. The mental health rescuer who helps us understand when and how to take a break.

Often, however, the permission to rest can only come from ourselves.

It’s a lesson I learned earlier this year from reading The Art of Rest, Claudia Hammon’s book on the ten most relaxing activities and what makes them so.

Like millions of others, I had experienced a year of working from home, home schooling, and home improvement. I felt like I had no time for myself – no time to rest.

But Hammon points out that our to-do lists – at work and at home – will never end. Trying to achieve everything is a mad rush. “How often do you push when you’re tired instead of giving yourself a break? ” she asks.

I often repeat this question to myself in the evening, when today’s work and chores are conspicuously over. Do I really have to log back in and send this email? Do I really have to paint this door frame? Or should I allow myself to rest – go for a run, read a book or watch TV?

Choosing rest – whether mental, physical, or both – gives us time to think. This is when our best ideas are born. This means that we can start over tomorrow.

So if you are feeling exhausted, don’t wait for permission to rest. Grant it to yourself. Don’t be afraid to disappear, even for a short time.

Sammy Mansourpour, Managing Director, AgencyUK

I think we can all agree that the relentless late-night and early-morning work regime is probably behind us now (and we’ve never operated like a misery agency), but that doesn’t mean productivity should be in the spotlight. to suffer.

At AgencyUK, we’ve always been very much in tune with the viability of being a commercially creative individual, and yes that often means 100 ideas per minute. But what we’ve evolved over the past decade is the way our creative teams deal with periods of more intense focus and work, punctuated by periods of rest and play.

It means anything that involves stepping away from the computer screen. It could mean chatting with colleagues, participating in our weekly learning lunches, yoga sessions, or afternoon runs for those who are prone to this. However, these periods of daily downtime weren’t spent alone (or asleep). They are designed to be a distraction from work where the mind stays active, not an opportunity to catch 40 winks.

Jonny Tooze, Chairman and CEO, Groupe LAB

We were all excited about machines, then electricity, then Cindy Crawford, then the Internet. Gold rush after gold rush. Most humans can’t help but become exploiters when the opportunity presents itself. But let’s be honest with ourselves. We all read the news, and people accept that all is not well in the world. We have all-powerful global challenges before us, and these are frightening. The Covid scared. Being scared or stressed for a long time just totally messes us up.

Not only that, but we are adapting in a meaningful way to a time when technology augments us as a symbiotic being. We are no longer just an ordinary human, and much of our value to the world seems to be derived from our increase. “We try and fail to get used to the evolution of our humanity at such a rapid rate,” rud3b0y_007, a seven-year-old philosopher, told their YouTube channel.

It seems to many that the rat race is over. It is the start of a new era, a time for authenticity and a time for humanity to be honest with itself.

Martin Luther King Jr told us a long time ago (and unfortunately most people haven’t listened) that “every person has to decide at some point whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the dark. of destructive selfishness ”. This embers burn brightly in the depths of all our minds.

Covid has certainly fueled the fire; he brought humanity together in many ways. The real question is to stay on this path, or will the circumstances of the next few decades take us back to the last state mentioned by MLK? And why do humans need such heinous events like global pandemics, war, or global warming to unite us? Maybe there is a positive common goal we could find.

I talk to people every day who are like Frodo at the end of Lord of the Rings – they’ve been there, there’s nothing left in the tank, and now it’s time to sail to the Eternal Lands with the elves. I feel that myself sometimes, although my ring has not yet been destroyed.

Covid-19 has been an absolutely hideous experience that has taken a lot of our friends and family, and a bit of all of our souls. But humanity is reborn from its ashes as it always does – reborn, and with a new philosophy and new values. Enough is, in fact, enough; the environment really, really matters; And turning off your phone regularly is a very good thing for your sanity.

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