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Nov 7, 2023 2:30:12 PM | 4 Minutes read

Five Strategies for Breaking the Cycle


Overwork culture can be harmful to the wellbeing and productivity of in-house creative teams. It often results in a diminished ability to think creatively. And what is an in-house agency without creativity? There are many ways to break the cycle of overwork and create a healthy work environment.

Five strategies that can help include:

  1. A stress-less work environment
    When an in-house team is put in a high-stress situation, whether from unreasonable deadlines or a chaotic studio, they are at risk of moving into fight-or-flight mode. When people stay in this place for too long, they get burned out.
    Can you incorporate stress reduction habits into your team’s daily workflows? 

  2. Quiet time 
    Encourage the use of private workspaces when creatives need to focus. If you don’t have private workspaces where your team can go to focus or decompress, use signals like ‘do not disturb’ signs when needed, or schedule ‘no meeting hours’ to enable creatives to focus on elements of their job such as ideation.
    What methods can you promote for team focus and 'do not disturb' time for creatives?

  3. Set boundaries
    Nowadays, teams are often in different locations and might work outside of traditional hours. However, the blurring of work and personal time is a source of job stress. One study has found that it is not just answering emails that increase employees’ anxiety; it is the expectation that they are available outside of work hours. To combat this, set guidelines and follow them. Could you use email scheduling so that if you’re working around the clock, you’re team isn’t expected to either?

  4. Flexible work
    For a highly adaptive team, create an adaptable work environment. Give your employees flexibility by allowing them to work staggered hours. Hold one-to-one’s to understand those needs and discuss arrangements for people who are struggling with work-life balance.
    Take into account the individual needs of your team. Do they have a long commute, are they neurodiverse, do they have caring responsibilities outside of work?

  5. Outsourcing creative production
    Would outsourcing creative production free up your team? Many creative leaders worry about the effect of outsourcing on staff. It’s not about trying to reduce headcount Remember, creative production outsourcing is about enabling your staff to do more. Chances are they are consumed by production and as a result, missing out on bigger creative projects. Creative production outsourcing can save time and enable your skilled in-house people to focus on their strengths; ideation, creativity and design.
    What can be outsourced to free up time for the in-house team?

Want to learn more? 

Join Robert Berkeley, CEO, and Michael Storey, Senior Creative Consultant of EKCS, in LA on November 17th. They will dive into the recurring challenges of overwork and burnout in creative teams and discuss innovative strategies to break the cycle and foster a more sustainable work environment. Find out more about the Creative Operations event. Save $100 on your ticket with the code EKCS100. 

Can’t make it? No problem, you can still learn more 

Visit Reports and White Papers (ekcs.co) on the 17th of November and download our free e-book: Breaking the Cycle of Overworked Creative Teams for in-house agencies and brands. 

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To find out more about outsourcing and explore how it can help your team to solve production challenges

Download our FREE GUIDES. They look at the benefits of creative production outsourcing, what to consider in a production partner, and tips on how to get started with outsourcing.

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