We spoke with Founder & CEO, David Hunt, of recently launched Healthcare marketing agency The Considered about not limiting ourselves to outdated models and the beauty of flexibility.
Over the past year, work environments have had to change drastically. How has your agency taken employee feedback, coupled with what’s appropriate for the company to create a work plan going forward?
We’ve started from scratch. It has been incredibly liberating. Having spent two decades building an awesome agency, which became a Cannes Agency of the Year, and that was grounded in brick and mortar, it has been fascinating to imagine how you might do the same virtually. The pub at lunch, bacon sandwiches in the morning and the ice-cream van on Friday all helped to forge the culture. Now, we need to think differently. And that is cool. At the same time, we cannot overlook how the world has changed in the last eighteen months. People desire the flexibility that comes from hybrid and remote working more than ever. And on the flip side of that, structuring ourselves as a digital-first company has opened up our talent pool to the globe — not just a 40-mile radius from an office. When you can attract the greatest talent in the world while also giving your employees the freedom they want, why limit yourself with outdated models? With established agencies comes established ways of working. Some of those ways are super and some of them have no right to become an ingrained process. Further, merchandise, parties and swag had all become cheap, easy and lazy ways to try and artificially create a culture. At The Considered, our approach is to build the culture on the work. Simply on the work. Bring people together who care only about the work, the craft and the impact, and provide them the tools to do this better than anywhere else. If you love what you do, then it is not work.
How has the changing work landscape affected the way pitches and campaign briefs are approached and conceptualized?
It is AMAZING. You are no longer working with people that took the same commute, watch the same shows or eat in the same restaurants. Now you are collaborating with people from around the world, with entirely different perspectives, completely different motivations and, most importantly, fresh and alternate ideas. And instead of being limited to the four walls of the agency war room, we embrace an infinite canvas on platforms like Miro. The creative world just had the handbrake removed.
In what ways has this impacted the work-life balance of your employees and what steps have been taken to mitigate that?
The world is obsessed with not sending communications outside of the workday, but this is a bit odd to me. The beauty of hybrid working is the flexibility of time. I want to do the school run every day, which means I do an extra hour in the evening. This rule that says no emails or messages after 5pm limits my ability to shape my working day around my life. In order to champion and execute a healthy work-life balance: ensure everyone turns off notifications, locks their phone in a drawer, and starts to look up, not down.
Given that each work environment can look a bit differently, what has helped in creating a cohesive working relationship with clients?
The fundamental principles of business management — be the highlight of the client’s day. And that takes preparation, energy, and focus. It is unacceptable to be in another room, another conversation or another monitor. We are paid for our focus, not a percentage of it.
What changes that have been made over the past year do you see sticking around for years to come?
All of it, and none of it. We are a long, long way from mastering hybrid working. It took millennia to work out how to work in physical proximity, so we are unlikely to optimize the virtual alternative in a matter of months. But, for many, we are even further from returning to the way things were. The difference is choice. There are those who love the office; there are those who prefer freedom. This is not a binary argument. No one is right or wrong — we just have a choice that did not exist two years ago. And at The Considered, we are there for those that choose something new, something different, and perhaps, far greater.