April: The Trends That Stuck, the Trends That Flunked According to Adam&EveDDB

The Ad Club asked  member companies their  take on the trends that impacted their business in Q1 and posed the following question:

Culture has become a huge initiative for many companies – especially those in the media and advertising industry. With the pandemic coming to an end, many are feeling stripped of their “work-life balance” that they felt they were given due to RTO. How is your agency or company managing culture/work life balance in 2024?

I know that the transition back to the office has not been easy for everyone. On a personal note, I was very nervous about being back in the office three days a week, as I had grown to love the ability to be home with my two young children. But, I appreciate that the agency has found a way to make RTO and work/life balance come together.

There are some practical principles we have put in place to try and make it a bit easier and more manageable for people. For example, when we can avoid it, we try not to have meetings too early in the morning or too late in the afternoon to give people the chance to pick up their kids, go take a class, or do whatever else floats their boat. We also try not to send emails in the evening, respecting people’s time away from work and not distracting them when they’re with their friends or families. And, we still have two days a week at home, which allows you to hop on a Zoom call and throw in a load of laundry. My favorite flex perk is our work-from-anywhere benefit which gives people the opportunity to work from anywhere four weeks a year, which is a fantastic perk!

I also know there’s a lot we get out of being together in-person. Can we be successful working remotely? Yes. We proved that. But there is an energy and a feeling you get when you’re together that is hard to replicate when you’re fully remote.

For one, the small interactions we have outside of a Zoom meeting can be quite meaningful. You get to know more about one another on a personal level, grab a bite to eat, be silly, talk about more personal stuff. And I think that a lot of those little moments help build our culture through a sense of belonging.

I also believe that building culture isn’t the sole responsibility of management. Management can facilitate opportunities and fund activities, but it should reflect and be shaped by all of us.

For example, we’re starting a mom’s club in New York, a chance for mothers at the agency to support one another, which started out of a hallway conversation between me and another mom when we realized we were up against a lot of the same challenges.

Beyond that, I’m amazed at the number of activities and opportunities we provide for people to get together, have fun, and share what they are passionate about. We hosted a trivia night and mixed up teams to give people an opportunity to get to know people they don’t usually work with. In February, we had our annual ski trip and about half the agency came, even people who had never skied before. It was a blast.

Overall, I think being together allows us to get to know one another more deeply and on a personal level. And when we know each other, see each other, it’s easier to come together and do the hard work together.

What I’m discovering is that work/life balance doesn’t have to be sacrificed. The fun doesn’t have to be sacrificed. And the value of being together in person is stronger relationships and creative energy that serves our employees and our clients.

And yes, there are days that it takes a lot to get kids to school and myself on the train and at my desk, but once I’m there, I’m always glad to be with my colleagues and have a cup of coffee in peace


About the Author: Amanda Peters, Head of Strategy, adam&eveDDB

Amanda is a strategist and storyteller obsessed with helping brands unlock creativity through rich insights, data and intuition.

She has experience with every flavor of strategy from brand to digital to CX, which she leverages to uncover fresh ways to connect brands and people to create something new and unexpected.

Prior to joining adam&eveDDB, Amanda spent over a decade with WPP at agencies including Grey, Wunderman Thompson and most recently VMLY&R. She has had the honor of leading strategy for clients across many verticals including iconic brands and companies like Colgate, Emblem Health, Danone, Clairol, Covergirl, Nestle, Unilever, Pepsi and TJ Maxx.

Her strategic work has resulted in industry recognition including Cannes Lion and Effie wins.

Originally from Ohio, Amanda now resides in upper Manhattan with her husband and two kids. When she’s not working, she’s hard at work on her screenplay.