9 to 5 Does Not Work in Creative Companies

Insight & Opinion | Workplace

We caught up with Art Director Malthe Luda to give us the inside view on why the typical 9 till 5 doesn’t really cut it with Creative Companies… 

But working more than 8 hours a day should not be the philosophy

So many companies and especially agencies presuppose to work more than 8 hours a day. In more than 11 years of working for digital agencies and creative companies I have learned 9 to 5 does not work. But what is the perfect way to go?

If you want a creative, efficient and good performing team, which will create the best products, you have to give them freedom, space and a good mood.

What does that mean for your employees?

First of all you have to give them trust and respect. This is the base of a good company culture. Uh, culture, that is a buzzword!—But it is true. Culture is the key to a great, effective, performing and a good-mood-driven team.

Every employee is different

As I told you already in my previous articles: “Nobody is perfect.—That is perfect.” Some people are very effective, creative and productive in their morning mood, some in the afternoon and some at the evening or at a night shift. This is another key to get a perfect working team. Knowing the best performance day-periods of your co-workers will help you to set up flexible working hours.

Creative Companies
Nobody is perfect. That is perfect. 
Flexible working hours

So everybody is different, but everybody is a part of your company or agency. Everybody has to pull together of course. But putting a team into a corset of stiff working hours is not the best way to work creative. So set up flexible working hours for your teams. These will give your co-workers a feeling of self control.

Define core-working times

Core times will give you “control” of your employees, so every team member is available at a time in office or via remote. This is important for face-to-face meetings, make decisions, presentations with clients and stuff like this. The core-working time could be 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. for example.

Offer your team a little playhouse

Provide your team mates a space full of non-work-feelings. We at COBE have a “Playhouse” where FIFA on PS4 is a big challenge for trainees as well as creative directors. UX designers playing darts with their bosses and football is a ritual after a hard meeting. These types of possibilities will improve the creativity and the feel-good factor of your whole agency and company. Your guys and girls will not think, they are at the office. They will feel like being at home, hanging around with friends and create awesome stuff. And creating stuff with friends in a relaxed atmosphere is much easier to handle for their brains as creating stuff in an office mood. By the way: That is scientifically proven.

Do not play Big Brother

Trust your colleagues. If they are playing video games, darts, football or what ever, do not look after them every minute. Just communicate them all deadlines and dates of delivery. All members of your team are old enough to plan their projects. That will improve your company culture immensely.

So what is next?

You will see, it does not matter, when your team members are working. The important thing is what they are creating by being on time without pressure.—By giving them a feels-like-home touch, the productivity, efficiency and creativity, will be upgraded to another level. Trust me, if you follow these points, your team will go some extra miles by themselves and will deliver more than you and the clients expect. Because then your crew will appreciate what your company and especially you offer them.

Thanks for reading my article “9 to 5 does not work in Creative Companies” I would love to get feedback from you, just drop me a line! or check me out on uxdesign.cc