Now, as companies weigh their options for returning to the office in 2021 and beyond, creative leaders are evaluating the results of that experiment and asking some questions: What were the benefits, and how can we keep them? What were the downsides, and how can we avoid them? And what does it all mean for creativity, productivity, and business impact?
AJ Joseph is a chief creative director at Adobe, and his team has been thriving since March 2020. Productivity is through the roof, and their ideas are as creative as ever. AJ is not alone: According to a survey last fall by HR firm Mercer, 94% of employers said productivity was unaffected or improved during the pandemic — confirming what researchers have been saying for years about remote work.
There are, of course, also downsides to remote work, such as missed opportunities for unplanned, in-person creative riffing — not to mention the infamous Zoom fatigue and its more insidious cousin, burnout, which can come from longer hours and blurred lines between work and home. But if creative teams have learned anything from the remote work sojourn of the last year and a half, it’s that the right tools are indispensable to maintaining productivity and morale.
At the center of distributed creative teams is the technology that keeps them connected, collaborating, and creating. For AJ, that includes Adobe Creative Cloud apps and services, which have helped his team, like countless others, pioneer remote work arrangements for years.
“We work with creatives around the world and always have,” says AJ. “We understand and appreciate the benefits of having a team from different places and having them collaborate, and we get the best stuff that way. I can't wait to see how we all evolve — this is a disruptive and impactful change in the way we work.”
To help you and your team navigate this opportunity-rich disruption, here are seven tips for thriving in a remote or hybrid work configuration.