(and How to Get Your Team Prepared)

Research from Gartner estimates that at the start of 2022, 32% of all employees worldwide will be working remotely. Remote work was slowly becoming more popular in some industries pre-pandemic, but when the world was forced into a work-from-home situation in 2020, it forced many agencies to take a look at what the office of the future looks like.

Here’s our take on what your agency can expect in 2022:

#1 Embrace a hybrid workforce

With many CEOs not believing that a fully remote workforce is a viable option, but many workers (57% in the UK) wanting to have the option of working from home, a compromise has to be made. In corporate America, the “hybrid workforce” is becoming an emerging trend that might define the agency of tomorrow. Senior research director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal, believes that the hybrid office is the “future of work”.

Essentially this means that employees will divide their time between working from home and working at the office. As a result, the office of next year will likely be downsized; have shared workspaces with other businesses; and create more flexible work schedules.

#2 Move from the office into an agile hub

The move to a hybrid workplace will mean that single-location offices could become a thing of the past, and a hub that supports “flexibility, functionality and employee wellbeing” could be the future, according to predictions from the global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Think co-working spaces, cafes, multiple offices, and mass hotdesking. Agencies should start considering how they could operate in a space like this, as it will likely be a more financially viable option.

 #3 Switch up the benefits your company offers 

Gone are the days of agencies thinking that ping pong tables and an open bar are the top perks employees desire. Because your team will be spending less time in the office, having quirky “office perks” doesn’t make sense anymore. In fact, 74% of employees surveyed by Perkbox would prefer an increase in pay as a result of the company saving on office perk costs.

#4 Place a greater focus on employee wellbeing

The mental health of employees has been a hot topic amongst many businesses, including agencies, for a long time. And with the stress brought on by the pandemic, this is the time to increase your focus on the wellbeing of your team when they’re in the office or working from home. CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021: Survey Report found that 74% of organisations offer access to counselling services and employee assistance programmes. Does your agency fall into that category? If not, then in 2022 your workplace should become synonymous with caring for your team, and prioritising their mental health.

#5 Say hello to virtual assistants

Along with a remote or hybrid workplace, comes the need for a more affordable and time-saving way to get specific work done – from administration to writing social media copy – on an hourly or project basis, using a virtual assistant. This will be a great investment for both a smaller agency who wants to scale up but can’t afford too many new hires, or a larger agency wanting to scale down.

#6 Say goodbye to having a boss

The office of the future may not have managers walking around, which makes sense, since many team members may not even be operating from the office. According to Gartner, by 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the agile and hybrid nature of work. This means agencies may have to abandon traditional hierarchies in favour of more agility within the organisation.

How to prepare your team for the hybrid workplace of the future

Communication will be key. Remember that not all of your employees will necessarily want to work remotely and may prefer to be in the office permanently. To determine exactly how your hybrid workplace will function, you’ll need to conduct a survey with your team to find out what their specific needs are, and how they work best.

 

Download this free survey that you can implement with your team today, so you can best prepare for the agency of 2022.

 

Make sure your agency can operate at its best in an agile environment

Built by agency veterans, Deltek WorkBook is a total agency management system that provides best practice solutions to help your agency grow. WorkBook makes it easier to focus on your clients and make strategic decisions for the future by streamlining projects, people and finance from end to end, giving you better control, insight and visibility at any time.

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us.

“Pivot, pivooooot, pivooooot!”

If you haven’t seen Ross Gellar shouting this out in the television series, Friends, whilst trying to navigate carrying a massive couch up a spiral staircase, then firstly, you need to go watch Friends, but secondly, it’s okay, because you can probably relate to the feeling regardless.

For many agencies and other small businesses, the arrival of Covid-19 was much like carrying a massive couch up a spiral staircase.

This mini downloadable guide will provide some insight and input into how your agency can ensure they’ll be able to pivot within, and re-adjust to, a new normal in a world after Covid-19.

In this guide you will learn about:

  • why digital transformation is crucial for agility
  • ways you could restructure your agency
  • how to foster a culture of innovation
  • the importance of integrative systems.

 

 

What does the future hold for creative agencies worldwide?

Campaign and Deltek surveyed agency professionals across EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific regions about everything from profitability and processes to what’s really giving them sleepless nights. In total, 670 agency professionals, from more than 30 countries participated, and the results are a global snapshot of the trends that are shaping the industry.

The key trends worldwide:

    • Many agencies have grown and diversified, but this is not necessarily translating to greater profit margins
    • Over-servicing and scope creep is the number one concern worldwide
    • Nearly half of all agencies want to improve their processes for finding & retaining the right talent
    • Opportunities to improve project management and client handling processes are being missed

Increase your agency’s profit margins with accurate scoping, resourcing and job delivery.

Over-servicing or “scope creep” is a real issue faced by many agencies, but how can it be avoided in this fast-paced industry to ensure that businesses are billing clients accurately?

Download this whitepaper for some practical tips on how to:

  • Track your agency’s KPIs accurately
  • Create clear SLAs and SOWs
  • Re-evaluate your business model

Deltek’s Agency Solutions power project success by giving you better control, insight and visibility into agency operations, so your team can deliver more creative content on time and on budget.

Find out how to increase efficiency and productivity through;

    • CRM & Pipeline Management
    • Resourcing, Project Management & Collaboration
    • Proofing & Approvals
    • Finance & Accounting

We consider it our ongoing mission to truly understand our clients’ challenges and proactively identify what help they need to solve these challenges. To this end, we recently worked with Campaign UK to survey 100 agencies. The focus of the research was agency efficiency and productivity – in essence, do agencies have the right processes and systems in place to maximise their creativity? The results show that while this is a clear priority for agencies, most are not satisfied that the tools they are using are the right ones. I’ve selected some of what I found to be the most interesting data points to share with you.

See the full survey results

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

Key Challenges:

Let’s start with the problems those surveyed want to solve:

  1. Managing ever-increasing client expectations for cheaper, better and faster work
  2. Finding and retaining qualified staff
  3. Charging clients correctly (in terms of accurate budgeting, timekeeping and managing scope creep)
  4. Forecasting and planning in an always-changing environment
  5. Resource management aligned with capacity

These issues aren’t new and there aren’t any that can’t be solved by implementing effective processes to measure productivity and efficiency. So, what’s holding agencies back?

Efficiency: Every Agency’s Holy Grail?

advertising agency software

While the vast majority (85%) of survey respondents said that their agencies were measuring operational efficiency in some way, the methods used varied. 42% reported using a mixture of automated and manual systems to keep track of operational efficiency, while 28% said they still tracked efficiency mainly through manual methods, such as spreadsheets. The problem with this tracking approach was summarised by one respondent, the strategy director at an agency; “I have to look at one spreadsheet for our budget, one for time spent, another for costs – and while we use software for pipeline management, those systems aren’t joined up.”

Getting Estimates Right: What’s Going Wrong?

‘69% of agencies report too many guesstimates in their estimates’

However, 29% said they did not have that clear insight and 21% were only “somewhat” convinced by their estimates. More worryingly, one in 10 of those surveyed either did not know if their estimates were correct or were not confident in their accuracy.

So, what is undermining confidence in business estimates? The answer seems to lie in the fact that agencies’ estimates are too often underpinned by a certain amount of guesswork. 69% of those surveyed felt they had some of the information they needed to produce accurate business estimates, but that too many guesstimates were involved in the process.

One strategy director was candid about how easy it is to fall into over-reliance on guesstimates: “What we think we know about our business is massively open to personal bias – too often, we base our thinking on ‘I reckon…’ rather than hard data. We often think we know who our best clients are, but do the numbers bear that out?’’ he asked.

Where Technology Meets Creativity

project management for creative agencies

“Moving to a single system has allowed the team to increase the speed with which they can access data – it allows them to spend more time on creating the work and less on the tracking of it.”
– Mark Jones, We Are Social

The results showed that most agencies felt that better technology would help build a clearer picture of their business, and free up staff to concentrate on creativity. 66% thought that agency management software could help with easier project scheduling and time tracking and a similar number believed it could reduce excessive admin time and unbillable costs. 52% thought software systems could help align resourcing and staffing pipelines, while nearly as many (47%) believed they could increase the accuracy of estimates and invoices.

So, what’s the real problem? It seems that agencies are not actually taking advantage of these technology benefits.

Most agencies (66%) were using multiple systems to manage and monitor their activity and were only “somewhat” happy with the result. Meanwhile, a significant minority (16%) were successfully using one integrated software system across the whole agency. A unified system appears to be the key to success. Mark Jones of We Are Social is convinced of the benefits of a cohesive approach: “Moving to a single system has allowed the team to increase the speed with which they can access data – it allows them to spend more time on creating the work and less on the tracking of it.”

I’ve only been able to touch on a couple of points from what was a truly enlightening research piece in this blog. Please do download the full report here for a more detailed view of the insights and trends we uncovered.

 

The CMO Growth Agenda Forces Agency Holding Companies To Rearchitect Their Raison D’être

The CMO/agency relationship is at risk. Brands are turning to in-house agencies; company growth agendas bring in CIOs and other business stakeholders; ad budgets face constant pressure; and consultancies are swooping in to take highmargin experience technology services. Our conversations with CMOs and agency holding company CEOs show that agencies need a new business model that puts the client at the center, elevates new services, and blends creative entrepreneurialism with new executional prowess. We’ve identified a path back to partnership.

Download this research here



 

Fascinating Insight and Perceptions Revealed

In the release of The SoDA Report On… The State of Agency Workflow Management, Deltek teamed up with SoDA to understand creative agencies’ perspective on the state of agency workflow management, business processes and tools.

Download the report now to learn more about the fascinating insight on key issues that agencies are facing, the challenges they need to address, and the “true” state of workflow management tools and solutions.

Download Report



Before the buck can stop with you, you need to see where the bucks are going. WorkBook gives you the visibility to see the details of every project for every client so you can manage how agency time, resources and monies are best spent in one simple integrated solution.

Download the PDF by completing the form below



For a member of the Management Team, it’s crucial that you have the right agency management tool to help your staff handle day-to-day operations so you can take care of the big picture. WorkBook provides not only project and resource-based visibility into daily operations, but also gives you the short and long-term clarity you need to ensure your agency’s success.

Download the PDF to discover the Top 5 reasons every person in your agency can benefit from using WorkBook.