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Home Sweet Office
By: Tom Roarty
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Most people in advertising, no matter what sector of the field we may be in, at some point face a stint where we are in the office more than we are at home. Even for people who love their careers, this stint usually takes its toll on them. Seeing this as an eventual morale breaker, agencies have expanded their creativity to cover those possible pitfalls and find ways to keep their employees happy and productive through those tumultuous times.
One of the fastest trends is free lunches/dinners. This is not a new idea by any means, but keepers of a creative staff have found this small token of appreciation helps not only them, but their employees as well. The process of design is a momentum-building one. No creative can work effectively in a stop-and-go situation. By providing lunch, you are not only providing fuel to keep your people energized for the task at hand, but you are also showing that you are willing to make an investment, no matter how small it might seem, in your people. But most importantly, you are providing your creative a chance to keep their creativity progressing to their fullest potential.
I know many places that have competitions throughout the day just to help break up the monotony of the day. Ping-pong, foosball, and pool tables are not uncommon fixtures to even the biggest, most professional agencies. Stress of not seeing friends and family will eventually take its toll on the most dedicated employee. The ability to offer fun, safe and, most importantly, on-premises forms of entertainment is a surefire way of keeping employees eager to give back.
On the more extreme end of the spectrum, I have dealt with agencies that had full kegs of premium beers for their employees around the clock. OK, to be fair, the agency in question did specialize in the advertising of the beer it served, and if we are being totally honest, the reason why I probably disagree with this around-the-clock delectable indulgence is because I’m not there to partake in the daily festivities. Plus, it is hard to discount a perk that keeps employees in the office for 13-plus hours a day generating award-winning campaigns.
One of my favorite past positions would literally keep us for three consecutive 18-hour shifts, but at the end of each three-day cycle, they would treat us to some of the best outings ever. Being a little older these days, I don’t think I could handle that schedule any longer — that day out was usually the most painful of the four-day span! The fact of the matter is most people go to work because they have to. In order to be creative at a high level, you have to want to be where you are. Otherwise, creative minds tend to wonder, and all to often, the places that they venture off to are not the places or things they should be focusing on.

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