By: Ian Ridgway
With COVID-19 affecting everyone in different ways in the past few months, it’s easy to say that most of us are ready for things to return to normal. The virus has impacted a large portion of the global population and how work is conducted, causing companies such as Google to keep most of their employees out of the office until 2021 (Gartenberg, YEAR). This left many industries having to adapt so they could continue during the COVID-19 crisis. Advertising and other industries were forced to evolve quickly, in a way they had never done before.
However, not every agency has faced the dark clouds of COVID-19 to its full extent. Digital agencies have increased their remote hiring since the beginning of the outbreak (Morgan, 2020). One major reason for this hiring increase is due to these agencies being unable to find the right people for the job within their city. Thankfully, due to the increase in remote-hiring, people are more willing to work from home.
Sadly, the industry has not been all sunshine and rainbows, it still has woes to face. A major way advertising was affected was financially, causing layoffs across many agencies (Staff, 2020). Overall, ad spending in the United States is down 10% (Cathy Li, 2020). The only exception thus far in spending is digital video which is currently up 4%. Unfortunately, this is not enough to save the advertising job market during this time. Through the Covid-19 pandemic agencies have dropped about 50,000 jobs within the industry (Weisbrot, 2020).
From an optimist’s perspective, the increased remote hiring within digital agencies can be viewed as a wonderful thing for the agency job market. With more people working from home, agencies can save their money on office operations costs, and boost the moods and productivity of remote workers (Morgan, 2020).
Sadly, it does not seem we can definitively answer the title of this blog, “Working Remotely in Advertising: Will it Stay?” But, let’s address the elephant in the room: Is working remotely the “new normal”? The agency market certainly seems to show some tough years ahead due to COVID. However, it does not mean creatives need to stop being creative. Even in a worst-case scenario of losing a job during the pandemic, this moment in time allows even a burnt-out creative to decompress and let their creative juices flow once again while they get to work on the outstanding craft of honing in their creative ability. What else should a creative do when they are stuck at home?
Weissbrot, Alison // Wednesday, J. (2020, June 03). Forrester: US Agencies Will Shed More Than 50,000 Jobs By 2021. Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://www.adexchanger.com/agencies/forrester-us-agencies-will-shed-more-than-50000-jobs-by-2021/
Gartenberg, Chaim. Google Says That the Majority of Its Employees Will Work from Home until 2021. 8 May 2020, www.theverge.com/2020/5/8/21252240/google-employees-essential-staff-remote-work-from-home-2021.
Morgan, Tonya. “Winning with Remote Employees.” HiveDesk, Tonya Morgan Https://Www.hivedesk.com/Wp-Content/Uploads/2020/05/HiveDeskLogo_Home-3.Png, 6 Aug. 2020, www.hivedesk.com/blog/digital-marketing-agencies-using-remote-employees/.
Staff, Ad Age. “A Regularly Updated List of How Agencies Are Responding to Coronavirus.” Ad Age, 28 May 2020, adage.com/article/agencies/regularly-updated-list-how-agencies-are-responding-coronavirus/2244711.
Written by Cathy Li, Head of Media. “This Is How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Advertising Industry.” World Economic Forum, 8 June 2020, www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/coronavirus-advertising-marketing-covid19-pandemic-business/.