R/GA article about going back to the office. (or not)

nothing ground breaking here but i have to take issue with one or two things… the fact they dont even mention this office, while amazing, is also some of the most expensive real estate in the world and things like “egos, power trips and lack of diversity” has more to do with your hiring practices than the office space… but i do admit most of the TV shows i grew up watching were based around office culture. So now all the office intrigue will play out… on Slack? that sounds like a terrible show.

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An interesting read, and there are some heavies chiming in in the comments. Food for thought. Thanks for posting, Tim!


Like the capitlization of “tryptophan” in the first sentence…

in all seriousness, I’m happy they’re doing this even as PR; it’s nice to see the idea proudly put out there. As someone who would have to board a plane to go into an office with a flame suite, I’ll take my allies anywhere I can get them.


And no one, I mean no one, seems to want to go back to a 5 day a week 9-5. Goodbye industrial age.

What a joke. Most of the agency people I know never had the choice of only working 9-5 before the pandemic. It was never stated that it had to happen, but it was absolutely expected. Now, post pandemic, the mid level folks are always in a batshit meat grinder working all kinds of crazy hours literally everyday burning out in record numbers.

I’m willing to bet, given the choice between a legit 9-5 day, spent at the office and the whenever-the-fuck-I-say-so-o’clock to whenever-the-fuck-the-client-says-o’clock day remote, the sane person would pick the 9-5. Not that it would ever be 9-5… the wheel of abuse would just spin the wagon off the cliff again. I think people see it for what it is—at least with remote you can see your partner or kids or dogs or whatever between Zooms.

Validating a remote model for agencies just allows them to justify working folks literally around the clock without having to be ashamed—not that they really were before—and trade their own time for work that is pretty much killing them.


don’t get me wrong @andy_dill - i’m all for the flexibility of remote & hybrid work but this article is the most paltry attempt at jazz hands while IPG gets out from under paying rent and/or this shop is struggling to survive after the mass exodus of top creative talent a few years ago. If they were earnest about embracing remote they should be talking about subsidizing broadband costs, establishing humane working hours for people across multiple timezones, tiered compensation for those who stay in high rent urban areas and report to a physical office, etc etc etc…


It’s always been a batshit meatgrinder, though? I remember hanging with some fellow artists (who post here) at NAB a few years ago and we were discussing the best way of handling the fact that you’ve been at the office for 3 days straight. Do you send an intern to target for a change of clothes or do you send them to your place? Try to wash up in the office bathroom or sneak in a shower at the gym around the corner?

I just don’t have a commute anymore, so I get to see my wife and kids. And when the Europe-based CCO finally wakes up on his yacht and approves the car spot I’m working on, I can trudge upstairs to bed instead of taking an Uber because I’m too exhausted to safely drive home. I do miss seeing my coworkers, and the lunch options where I live definitely aren’t as good, but for me the pluses vastly outweigh the minuses.

I will say that even though we are working hard to be proactive about training, juniors are getting the short end of the stick in terms of professional development. Shadowing over Zoom is better than nothing, but it’s still not the same as being a fly on the wall in an in-person session.

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Oh for sure. Our end of things has always been a meat grinder but openly so. Pretty much every shop I’ve worked at with few exceptions have been open about the fact that we work when the clients need us to and that can be brutal at times, but we’re doing “a,” “b” and “c” to help. I completely agree that remote has changed my life largely for the better with regards to getting a little more “life” in the life/work equation. I love how much time I get being close to the fam now—means the world. I don’t love how everyone assumes I’m now on call 24 hours a day. Boundaries are even blurrier now and the barrier of work versus home is merely a speedbump.

I was having a massive guttural reaction to a high level agency person saying “no one wants 9-5” when in truth that’s what everyone wants, remote or in-office—the ability to work and then go home after a normal day. My comments were also about agency life too which honestly seems to be even worse than we have it.


It was understandable in the 90s/early 2000s as there were very few flames and even fewer good flame artists so once you got noticed you were booked day and night. Scarcity created a bottleneck for post and we were it and we just had to pour longer.

But now? There’s not much excuse for an all nighter. Send the hard stuff to Nuke support and let them stay awake :slight_smile:

I think one of the best ways I’ve learned to create those non-blurred lines is to openly tell clients/shops that hire me/my-company about specific down-hours and up hours. Some have pushed the factor but after I’ve made them aware (again) why I’m out from 430-8 on weekdays they are like “fine yes we’d prefer to not hear your kids screaming in the background and seeing you try to wrangle them at arms reach from your desk”.

Most things are easier said than done but to me part of creating that work/life balance comes from actually trying to create one. Artists/employees that just do what their uppers say aren’t setting any kind of a precedent.