Studio Culture: Finding the silver lining in the new normal
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
A quick thought. While we are all adjusting to the new normal of working from home, I feel grateful that our studio has become very accustomed to working remotely together as a creative team over the past seven years. With an office in Raleigh, North Carolina, we currently have remote team members in New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Beijing.
Ironically, when we first began, I thought this was a disadvantage and a significant hurdle to overcome with clients. Being creative requires face to face interaction, I was convinced. While this is certainly true, I underestimated the fact that we had good communication and set clear expectations for each other despite not having daily access at the water cooler. I underestimated our ability to scale up and down quickly; to mobilize teams tailored to the needs of each project. I underestimated the reality that if you are accessible, attentive to their needs and consistently deliver high-quality work, clients don’t mind that you are not right down the block.
As an office, we have had the good fortune to build projects across the US and internationally on 3 continents. Similar to many leaders expressing gratitude for their organizations, I definitely could not have done it by myself. But in addition to the talented people and amazing clients (all very critical), I think one of the things that has helped us stay competitive and quite frankly survive through the ups and downs, is this “remote” process and way of working. Our studio is truly a collective of creative professionals built around a decentralized footprint. In hindsight, it has sharpened our listening and communication skills as well as opened up new opportunities with collaborative partners nationally and internationally.
While we are certainly experiencing unprecedented times with many unknowns for professional design services, we remain optimistic, grateful for the exciting opportunities in front of us and continually look to go above and beyond for our clients. It just so happens that sometimes it takes an unforeseen crisis to reflect on how you got there.
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