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May 3, 2024 12:44:07 PM | 6 Minutes read

From Burnout to Brilliance: How to Rescue Creative Teams from Overwork Culture

The relentless pursuit of deadlines, coupled with the ever-expanding scope of projects, has given rise to a concerning phenomenon: overworked teams. As the pressure intensifies, the risk of burnout looms large, impacting the wellbeing of creatives and their output. 

As Michael Storey, Senior Creative Consultant, EKCS, explains, “Teams all around the globe are being asked to do more with less. But overwork and burnout are not badges of honor; they’re silent dangers that erode creativity."

According to a Flexijob report, 75% of workers have experienced burnout. Therefore, in-house agency leaders need to prevent and address burnout effectively. Overwork culture can be harmful to the wellbeing and productivity of creative teams. It often results in a diminished ability to think creatively.

Some strategies to reduce overwork and burnout for your creative teams include:


Creating a stress-less work environment

Can you incorporate stress reduction habits into your team’s daily workflows? 

When an in-house team is put in a high-stress situation, whether from unreasonable deadlines or a chaotic studio, they risk moving into fight-or-flight mode. When people stay in this place for too long, they get burned out. 


Introducing quiet time  

What methods can you promote for team focus and 'do not disturb' time for creatives?

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.

Setting boundaries

Could you use email scheduling so that if you’re working around the clock, you’re team isn’t?

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. 


Five tips to break the cycle of overwork

  • Reward creatives who finish tasks on time instead of those who work late hours.
  • Find out why creatives work more, is creative production taking up most of their time? 
  • Set positive examples for employees by taking unplugged vacations and encouraging them to do the same.
  • Look to implement smarter and more creative strategies rather than longer hours.
  • Consider outsourcing elements that are creating overwork for the team. This could be creative production, video editing, or transcreation.

To learn more, download our free e-bookBreaking the Cycle of Overworked Creative Teams.

Meet us in person 

EKCS's Michael Storey, an ex-creative head who led creative teams in fast-paced organizations for over 15 years, will speak at Creative Production in New York in 2024. In his talk, Striking the Balance: Navigating Overwork in Creative Teams, he discusses the root causes of burnout and overwork in creative teams. He shares strategies for cultivating a more balanced, sustainable creative work environment for teams and their leaders.  Book your ticket for Creative Production New York 2024






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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