Eighteen months into the global pandemic, it’s both easy and hard to remember what a regular work day feels like. For most office employees, the pandemic shuttered workplace doors and forced a remote work lifestyle that has yet to fully rebound.
In the field of public relations, like so many others, once buzzing hallways, vibrant happy hours and all-hands in-person strategy meetings took a back seat to hours of Zoom calls. It’s true that we all needed a minute (ok, perhaps a year) to get a handle on how the world had changed, and the place work held during these unprecedented times when your colleagues were now also playing the role of teacher to their children, or caretaker to a sick family member.
While the adjustment has taken some time, if you ask the team at Rally Point, they’ll tell you that a virtual environment has actually helped to drive their sense of creativity.
Here’s what some of our team members have shared about working remotely in an industry driven by human interaction.
Saying “Buh-bye” to Groupthink
While many employees appreciate the opportunity to bounce ideas off their colleagues, there is always the danger of losing our critical thinking skills in the name of not rocking the boat.
General Stanley McChrystal shared recently on the Tim Ferriss Show how frustrating – yet beneficial – it is when someone throws up a red flag right as he’s about to launch a carefully-prepared operation… “the whole idea … is to find clever people who will come and find the holes in your plan.” Being physically separated gives us permission, in a way, to speak our mind more freely and feel less constrained by the pressures of “groupthink.”
As Ruth Sarfaty, Managing Director, Global Technology and Media recently attested, “working virtually makes us less susceptible to groupthink.” Perhaps working separately is making us think a bit more critically.
Prioritizing Results-Driven Discussion
Co-Founder and Managing Partner John Cook is enamored with the “shorter, remote meetings which equal more intense results-driven discussion and time to think offline.” How many of us recall lugging our notebooks into the conference room only to wonder why this conversation couldn’t have been an email?
Being tethered to devices 24/7 provides the illusion that we’re always available. It can be exhausting.That’s why we applaud those results-driven conversations and meetings which point us in the right direction and send us on our way so we can do the work.
Consider how business tycoon Jeff Bezos has engineered Amazon’s meetings with a three-pronged approach of two-pizza teams, no PowerPoints, and starting with silence. The approach is worthy of its own read but in short it is fueled by the idea that meetings should be 1) limited to the true decision makers, 2) that those participants should come fully briefed, and 3) have time to reflect on the issue at hand.
How have you sharpened your agendas and approaches to become laser-focused on outcomes? Raise your hand if you’re not rushing back to the old days of half-day, all-hands updates.
Embracing Creativity at Your Own Pace
I love this insight from content consultant, Sarah Benali who says “There is no schedule for true creativity. Virtual PR agencies foster a healthy environment for creatives to come up with ideas at their own pace – they way it should be done!”
So often we are constrained by our environment – but working remotely has introduced certain creature comforts: dressing casually, ditching commutes, and embracing authenticity as we virtually invite colleagues into our home offices.
And as someone who has successfully worked from home for close to a decade, I can tell you that I’m doing my best work now.
So, what about you?
Are you looking for more freedom and flexibility to create? If so, a virtual PR agency might be worth considering.
Rally Point is hiring great creatives to come join our team, and we’d love to hear from you. For more information, check out our openings here.