By: Cole McClanahan
Of the changes seen worldwide since the beginning of 2020, possibly none have impacted more people than the switch to working from home. The switch from having people commuting long hours into cities to rolling out of bed and opening their laptops has been seen across industries; however, one of the most seamless transitions has been within advertising and public relations.
According to Digital Third Coast, this is due to the “digital nature” of the industry, which has allowed many agencies to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue working. This doesn’t mean there haven’t been any negative impacts or changes, but many companies have somewhat changed product offerings to stay afloat. Some have created monthly plans to allow for better affordability to clients, and some have pivoted to be more future- and growth-oriented agencies (Digital Third Coast, 2021). One of these is Brenton Way, a full-service marketing agency based in California.
However, many of the changes have occurred internally. According to Jon Boles, founder and CEO of Avintiv Media, his company’s productivity has “skyrocketed” with the move to fully-remote work (Digital Third Coast, 2021). Boles also said his team members have been much happier working from home, but this has been a point of contention as many people have expressed feelings of isolation and a lack of productivity because of it.
According to a study published by Forbes, 45% of people have experienced more meetings each day than they would in a normal work setting and 40% of people have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working remotely. In addition, 89% of people are afraid of COVID-19 in the workplace and say “their fears have compromised their job performance” (Forbes, 2020).
The rise in working from home has also blurred lines of many people’s work-life balance with 40% of people reporting that their mental health has declined since the start of the pandemic. Despite the massive rise in remote work, and the future of agency work being largely remote, in-person client meetings will always be in demand (Forbes, 2020).
In addition to the “digital nature” of the advertising field, agencies were also more prepared for remote work due to familiarity with and use of data in cloud systems (Digital Agency Network, 2021). It is also expected that this could lead to an increased demand for digital agencies in the post-COVID-19 era. According to Digital Agency Network, many of the challenges employers are now facing revolve around employee motivation and how managers can keep team members
working hard. It is also unknown how long people will work from home and when people can transition back into offices — if they even will. Agencies will eventually return to their pre-pandemic state, but it’s still to be seen what agency life will look like in the coming years.
Bilir, G. (2021, February 8). Social Media Posts From “New Agency Life” During COVID-19 Outbreak. Digital Agency Network. https://digitalagencynetwork.com/social-media-posts-from-new-agency-life-during-covid -19-outbreak/
Moore, K. (2021, February 18). How Covid-19 Impacted Marketing & Advertising Agencies. Digital Third Coast. https://www.digitalthirdcoast.com/blog/roundup-covid-19-impact-on-agencies
Robinson, B. (2020, June 20). Is Working Remote A Blessing Or Burden? Weighing The Pros And Cons. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2020/06/19/is-working-remote-a-blessing-or -burden-weighing-the-pros-and-cons/?sh=338fc85b40a9