Setting up a new creative agency is a big and exciting challenge at any time - but during a global pandemic, it’s another level.

There are a lot of moving parts and problems to solve when setting up a new working environment – where will the business operate? How is the business being funded? Who are your clients? What services do you offer? What are your internal processes? The list is endless.

Arguably, one of the most gratifying parts of that process is putting together your team. Having the right people in the right place is crucially important to the success of the business. But ultimately, it’s our people who sit front and centre of our culture.

Culture is made up of many elements, making it a complex concept to define. The vision and values of the business are at the heart of our culture – how we act and treat our people, partners and clients, form the behaviours and habits that ultimately define our culture.

However, it’s our people who truly bring the culture to life. Our teams live and breathe the business values every day. From the leadership team down, how we interact, talk and treat each other, is what truly cultivates our values into this tangible entity we call culture.

There is of course, no better time to start laying the groundwork for a strong culture, than at the birth of the agency. A time when everything is new and freshly formed, when excitement is running high and there’s a general buzz about carving out a new way of working.

But…

What if the birth of a new creative agency happens to coincide with a global pandemic? What if your new team is no longer traveling into an office space to work, share ideas and drink copious amounts coffee, but rather is now scattered over a 50-mile radius, working from home and drinking instant coffee?

How do we cultivate an open, inclusive, collaborative and creative culture when we’re all so distanced from each other?

For us it started with a simple shift of perspective.

As a new London-based agency, this new landscape gave us the perfect opportunity to carve out a new way of working, established at the core of who we are and how we operate. We looked at the immediate benefits. Working from home saves each of us an average of two hours a day commuting, giving us an extra day every week to be more productive.

We are now more mindful about making space for downtime which can be used for self-development and care. It’s given us more focus on the health and needs of the individuals in our teams – something that we should have been doing more of beforehand.

Utilising applications such as Google Workplace, Monday and Slack, allow us to stay connected and organised. This helps keep our teams tight, which allows us to check in on each other and offer help where needed – this alone boosts morale in some surprising ways.

The challenges that we face as a result of not have our workforce in one place, have offered us the opportunity to develop and improve trust and accountability within our business – doing what we say we are going to do, is now part of the fabric that makes up our culture.

There are no real arguments to suggest that this new virtual way of working will ever fully replace the benefits of real-world face to face dealings. But this pandemic has affected us equally the world over, and we have proved that we can adapt to a new way of working and adopt new ways of achieving our goals.

We strongly believe that culture is a force that transcends the effects put on us by events such as Covid. With the right mindset, the challenges we face as a result of such events, strengthen our ability to rally together in achieving common goals and taking care of each other.