RuNT. The 9-5, Redesigned Recap
#RuNTAustin has come and gone and, as usual, we can’t believe the caliber of speakers and attendees that join us for these events. It’s been far too long since our last RuNT. Does anyone remember the year 2020? Never mind, too triggering.
Speaking of the pandemic, much has changed regarding how work gets done. More specifically, where we get our work done. Our industry is constantly evolving, and we wanted to strike a balance. We threw a bunch of talented creatives into a room together to discuss the pros and cons of remote work and returning to the office—cue our incredible panelists.
Amelia Bowie, Chris Belmore, Soumya Ashok, and Taylor Smith were the creative geniuses that joined us, and they shared valuable insights on shifts within the design workplace. M+P’s very own Molly Wiley was our lovely moderator who knows how to navigate any conversation. Prepped with curated questions for each panelist, we were ready to get rolling.
As a hiring manager, how do you feel about managing employees remotely? Has it changed your management style?
Chris Belmore reassured folks that remote work didn’t dilute the quality of work. “They can be fully remote and still do a great job.” When it comes to collaboration across teams, Chris wants to ensure that everyone is involved. He says, “It’s really up to us that they are included, and we make space for them.” His team adapted a strategy to structure creative meetings where each person has a role. “If you set it up that way, it seems to really help.”
Is creative collaboration the same in person as it is remote or on video?
Taylor Smith is an advocate for remote work but has found during her time at Drumroll that collaborating through a screen changes the dynamic of working as a team. “We set expectations and boundaries, which really helps to make sure we’re still delivering on our work.”
What are some things you’ve done or seen that have made remote employees feel connected? How do you create a sense of belonging?
Amelia Bowie prefers the choice to stay home or come into the office. Given the online interactions with her coworkers, she appreciates their efforts to build relationships. “My manager provides video content to stay connected with colleges.” Amelia does her best to prioritize the team’s needs and create space for answering questions to pass along institutional knowledge cultivated over the years.
Have your expectations for your team or yourself as a creative professional changed working from home vs in the office?
Soumya Ashok finds that working remotely creates an authentic work environment. However, she kindly shared how it’s impacted her schedule. “If you see me online when I’m not supposed to be, please shame me.” This got a kick out of the audience. While acknowledging there is more time for work, she encouraged us to set boundaries with ourselves to establish balance. “If you don’t take the time for yourself, you cannot be your best self in life or in work.”
Working remotely as a creative is challenging, but we learned it’s not impossible, thanks to our panelists. As we return to the office or consider what it will be like to go back to a “9-5,” these creatives are discovering what’s working, what’s hard, and how we can improve work – wherever we may do it.
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