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Jan 30, 2024 3:25:19 PM | 4 Minutes read

How to solve a problem like overworked teams?

In the UK, in-house agencies' demand for creativity and efficiency often places pressure on creative teams. 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."

Over one-third of creative leaders say their heads are exploding through overwork. These findings come from our Challenges and Opportunities of UK In-House Agencies 2023 Survey conducted among IHA leaders in London.


Causes of overwork

Some of the factors contributing to overwork in in-house agencies include:

  • tight deadlines
  • scope creep
  • unclear or changing briefs 
  • company culture
  • skills gaps 
  • lack of resources
  • interruptions 
  • limited time to be creative 
  • the team is seen as a production entity
  • the relentless demand for fresh content


How can in-house creative leaders help?

Here’s the good news for in-house agency leaders: You don’t necessarily need to pay workers more or hire more staff! Most of the causes of burnout have nothing to do with compensation. We’re talking about company culture, from the creative directors to the first-jobbers.

1. Redefine Workload Expectations

To break the overwork cycle, redefining workload expectations is essential. Matching team expectations with their capabilities helps prevent burnout in in-house agencies. Could you set more realistic project scopes and achievable goals for your creative teams? 

2. Embrace Automation and Technology

Automation and technology are valuable tools for reducing overwork. By using these tools, creative teams can save time and energy for more innovative and creative work.

3. Outsource Creative Production 

Outsourcing creative production enables creative teams to focus on what they do best rather than worry about mundane and non-essential tasks. We often hear at EKCS, “Why would I outsource creative production when I have a great in-house team?" Outsourcing creative production isn’t about handing over huge elements of work. Creative should be kept in-house so that your staff and your IHA can do more. 


Breaking the burnout cycle

Creative professionals are essential for brand success, and their wellbeing is paramount. Lost creativity means that in-house agencies may lose their competitive edge and ability to produce original and impactful work for their brands. 


Join our free webinar on March 26th, 2024 

Overwork and burnout are not badges of honor. They’re silent dangers that erode creativity. Former in-house creative leader Michael Storey checks in with in-house agencies to ask, ‘How are you getting on?’ Building upon his session at Creative Production London*, Michael will share recent ‘hot-off-the-press’ findings. You'll realize that you are not alone in your overwork challenges and will discover ways to keep work/life in balance in an industry where this can sometimes seem impossible.

Michael and Robert Berkeley, CEO of EKCS, will join forces on March 26th. Robert has spent over two decades leading diverse and busy teams at a global creative production agency. Both will be on hand to answer your questions and offer advice. *Please note that if you attended their session at Creative Production 2024 on March 1, new ground will be covered. And if you couldn't make the event, this webinar is essential for anyone facing burnout and/or managing overworked teams.* Register for free here. 


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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