Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To Be More Creative, Schedule Your Work at 80% Capacity : The Art of Non-Conformity

This is an idea that has been used in other companies as well. Google has a "20% time" policy in place which essentially allows employees to do whatever they want with 20% of their time at work. Many of Google's best apps have resulted from this non-directed creative work time.

The wonderful book Scarcity also describes the economic and psychological impacts of not scheduling "slack" into your schedule. When you are pressed for time and experience scarcity throughout day, you actually think and perform worse. This has been shown in several studies and I highly recommend the book, which goes into detail on the research. It could be an awesome summer read.

To Be More Creative, Schedule Your Work at 80% Capacity : The Art of Non-Conformity
When Josh and Colby started Jolby & Friends, they were leaving a larger advertising agency. At that agency they would collaborate on work together, but always after hours. As they took the plunge to start their own business they knew that they wanted to have the ability (and their employees to have the ability) to be able to work on things in the studio they were passionate about. 
Therefore, Jolby & Friends runs on 80% capacity. What this allows us to do is go after clients that may not have the largest budgets, create work for art shows, and build out other internal passion projects (like this one, for example). 
What this doesn’t allow for is people taking extra long coffee breaks, playing foosball, working on freelance work or anything of that sort. The idea isn’t for people to have to only work 32 hours but rather enable our staff to be able to create work that in a larger agency they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. This practice often influences our client work and allows us to always be learning and pushing our current skill sets. 
Lastly, it allows us to be the heroes. When a client calls and says “Is there anyway you can do this for me in a week?” the answer is often replied with a smile and “no problem.”
This isn’t always the case, though. For every upside there’s obviously a downside. One issue we often encounter is contractors and vendors not being able to budget their time as efficiently as we do. We actively work on this by explaining our process in detail as well as showing the upsides to some of our processes. 
The whole idea is based around a simple idea to create a creative environment in which our staff is comfortable, focussed, and—most importantly—excited about what they’re doing.

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