In this guest post, Tim Dyroff, creative director at Sydney’s Resolution Design discusses the wonders of remote working while reflecting on the challenges that we’ve all collectively faced to get the balance right…
Pondering the wonders of remote working has been something most of us have spent 2020 doing. With that year in the past, we can now reflect on the challenges we’ve collectively faced and get the balance right for 2021.
As a creative industry, is what we do different enough to require a different approach? Should we stick to the usual face-to-face sessions in order to really understand client feedback, or should we focus our efforts on using these emerging ‘remote’ technologies in order to build healthier, more resilient businesses?
Resolution got its name because it implies a love of detail a nd c ollaborative decision making; something Zoom and other platforms like it, can make difficult in the motion and film space. We’ve all seen stepping edit presentations and disconcerting glitches in such forums. In fact, the compression technology that makes it possible to have nine or more speakers in a virtual room can sadly render participants as disengaged if they remain inactive for a short period of time.
Under such circumstances, pitching to clients on conference calls makes it hard to gauge how the pitch is going if all we see are a sea of expressionless faces, or even worse typing keyboards and phone gazers. For myself, I try to be more animated to avoid the compression algorithm smoothing me out to a motionless still. Think of yourself as a morning news presenter nodding and smiling a little too frequently and you get the vibe.
They say ‘a camel is a horse designed by a committee’ and it seems to me that the remote meeting room is well and truly oversubscribed, with too many cooks in the kitchen.
In relation to best practice, it may be better to have concise online meetings with smaller teams so that only the key decision-makers provide feedback, rather than having larger group meetings creating a playground full of ideas.
As creatives we never truly switch off, but we must find ways to differentiate our home life from our work life to avoid burnout. It is important to go home, get off the devices and sleep on an idea. The challenges of working from home can include low motivation and increased stress, therefore,
a sense of mindfulness must be created in order to keep the inspiration flowing.
So are we remotely interested in video conferences – Zoom, Teams or whatever platform you use ? When is the right time and place to get people together? Will Zoom be used for quick and easy catch-ups with small concise groups or when steering a job through troubled waters is it better to do it in person?
With over 10 million daily meetings I think remote working and meetings will be used within the workplace indefinitely. For RESOLUTION, we have invested in a range of real time feedback platforms that make remote shoots, edits and grading sessions fluid and interactive and yet like all technology it will evolve rapidly to something far better. Think of the current technology as the fax machine of our time that we’ll have a good chuckle about in years to come.
If we’re going to make our businesses more resilient, we will need to integrate a mix of online and face-to-face meetings throughout the production timeline. Whilst there are two sides of every story, the takeaway from 2020 is that we are going to have to live with both worlds but for me I’ll take a face to meeting anytime over a remote one anytime.
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