As parts of the country consider re-opening their physical locations, InkHouse plans to be virtual through the summer. We’re also giving our employees the option to work from home through the end of the year, and potentially longer. We are a team-based workplace, and it is challenging when we can’t sit side-by-side during client launches to pitch the media, or collaborate for interactive brainstorms. But we had a head start in migrating to a virtual culture because we work from home every Friday. And so far, so good.
InkHouse also works in an industry known for burning people out. We’ve been intentional about building a culture that encourages separation from our work -- because creativity and productivity require mental space. As we’ve gone virtual, we’ve discovered a few things. On the plus side, the integration of video into our daily meetings has made us closer to one another (especially across offices), and also to our clients, whose faces we’re seeing more of than we used to. On the negative side, we’re on video all day every day, and the boundaries between work and home have blurred. Some of us are parents who are now doing two full-time jobs, and working odd hours. Others have more time on their hands and are working around the clock, because what is time anymore?
As we continue in this virtual workplace experiment, we’ll keep learning what works and what doesn’t, but our primary goal will be to maintain the kind of culture that helps us do our best work. We’ll keep evaluating these practices over the coming months and will judge our approach by two metrics: our client work, and our employee satisfaction. Here’s what we’re trying:
More than anything, we’re learning as we go, and we’ll adjust based on what’s working. For now, we hope to see your faces online very soon.
Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”