The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted many businesses in recent months. One of the most obvious ways it has changed our working lives has been the shift towards remote working.
While there are some positive effects due to this change, it has also posed unique challenges to many digital agencies and may continue to do so even after the restrictions fully end.
Now that the UK’s vaccination program is in full swing, many people are wondering what the future may hold for digital agencies, so read on to find out more.
One question that many people want to know the answer to is whether there will be a return to full-time office work once the pandemic finally ends.
The recent shift towards remote working has been a good thing for many workers. For a start, working from home has enabled them to save time and money by avoiding the daily commute to and from work.
Furthermore, it can also boost productivity by removing many distractions that are present in an office. According to a report published in the Independent, more than half of people said they felt they worked more effectively at home.
However, while there are some benefits to it, remote working also poses some issues for businesses.
For a start, while videoconferencing can be useful, it can never properly replace your daily face-to-face interactions with your co-workers. This lack of socialisation can have a significant impact on people’s mental health.
According to the Telegraph, the mental health charity Mind has reported a consistently higher number of visitors to their site during the third lockdown as the social isolation of remote working took its toll on mental wellbeing.
Furthermore, it increases the risk of emotional burnout by blurring the lines between work and home life. This can raise the risk of projects not being completed by their deadlines if employees need to take time off to recover.
One solution to these problems is a compromise of people working some days remotely and others in the office. According to management consultant firm McKinsey & Company, it’s likely that around a quarter of people could work at home between three and five days per week without a loss of productivity.
The lockdowns, that the government implemented to limit the spread of the virus, strongly accelerated the digitalisation of businesses across the UK. Many companies are now more reliant on digital advertising and sales than they were before the pandemic.
While this change has been good news for many digital agencies, the lockdowns have also been a double-edged sword.
For a start, working within a team has become significantly harder due to remote working. The most obvious issue being that it’s much more difficult to communicate clearly.
While videoconferencing provides a good stop-gap solution to the problem, it still doesn’t completely solve it. If a team member misunderstands their task, they could waste a significant amount of time on it before the issue is noticed, as there are no co-workers nearby.
The difficulty in communicating effectively makes it more likely that teams will only discuss a project once, rather than being able to bounce ideas off each other throughout the working day. One major issue with this is that newer members cannot benefit from the experience of their teammates when working.
Another much simpler issue that many agencies face is that digital work is inherently creative. Many people struggle with working from home due to the familiarity of their setting – it’s difficult to be inspired when nothing around you is inspiring.
As the UK’s vaccination program continues to inoculate people against the coronavirus, life is beginning to slowly return to normal. When it does, digital agencies will face unique challenges as they adapt to the post-pandemic economy.
One of the biggest problems to overcome is how much they continue to rely on videoconferencing if employees prefer to work from home. The reason that this is so significant is that it affects many aspects of agency life.
While a flexible working arrangement, such as the one mentioned earlier, may have some benefits, it could continue the problem of workplace miscommunication.
It also poses an issue when it comes to the important task of recruitment. While interviews can still be done remotely, it’s hard to make a good judgement of someone through a screen and you may not get an accurate picture of a potential employee.
Furthermore, remote working also prevents newer team members from benefiting from the experience of their co-workers, making it harder for them to adapt to their role.
The post-pandemic economy is likely to be more competitive for digital agencies than it ever has been before. The shift towards the digitalisation of the economy means that while agencies may attract more business, there is also likely to be increasing pressure on them to help their clients outcompete their rivals.
Ultimately, it will be the agencies that can adapt and move forward which will benefit the most from the changing economic landscape.
Adjusting to the post-pandemic economy will be a challenge for many agencies, so if you want the confidence and security that comes from knowing your business is protected, we can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form to request a call back from our team.