Producing from home in a pandemic

Jun 21, 2020 / Industry Insights / FOTW

Laice Gregory
Lead producer @FOTW

Whether you’re permanent, a freelancer, new to the industry or a well-oiled machine, Covid-19 has definitely caused a stir which may have created more challenges than solutions but it’s great to see the industry making it work and becoming better comrades, whether that’s making recommendations for jobs or creating quick briefs to keep the creative’s alive!

It’s taken some adjustment, but I’ve managed to get into a rhythm that works for me, so I thought I would share what I’ve learned to beat most of the daily challenges I have faced as a producer working from home.

1. Firstly, don’t forget to be HUMAN

Have more online face to face time with clients and colleagues – Now more than ever we crave interaction to keep us sane. Ask how they are, be interested in family lives and events. Give the same information back…one thing I’ve seen is how much we are bonding as an agency, and as long-standing partners to our clients.

Personally my team, and the people around me are my driving force and they keep me sane, happy and on the ball, and in return I will always make time for them for questions or general chit chat, happy team makes great work.

2. Patience is a virtue

Things take a little bit longer due to internet issues, getting your head around the project, or even just waiting on a reply to a question. It’s not a quick run to the studio to chase anymore so be patient, figure out the best lines of communication for you and the person or team – for us Slack and mavenlink was our saving grace for quick communication all round! I’ve personally found that comms are more regular, more clear, more positive and more productive!

3. Be agile & proactive

Although patience is needed with your team and clients; as a producer the ability to be agile and proactive, always be prepared to turn things around quickly, or to quickly jump on a call is vital to the role. You need to ensure you can make yourself available and more accessible now that you’re not there in person. This will help with rectifying issues, clarifying a point or be clear on your wants and needs. Also try and be ahead of the game – you know the process for production so just start moving onto the next point to get things pre-empted.

4. Keep relevant

There are two ways keep relevant at the moment…

1. Keep up to date with the latest work being shared, the latest press releases, the latest industry news – are there new procedures you can carry over to help you and your agency to keep succeeding? Take note!

2. Keep in contact with clients, colleagues past and present via email or linkedin. If they are in need and you can help – then do so. Can you be that person to connect them to their next job? – It’s been so nice to see how everyone is trying to help other people with job recommendations. It’s uplifting to see how this horrible situation has created a lot of opportunities to be more interactive.

5. Adapt

Find your rhythm, or new workflow that works best for you now in this situation and keep adapting it until you find your perfect fit. You may have always liked post it notes, or old school to do lists or even google sheets– keep it online and invite your team and be more collaborative.

We still have to adapt to an ever-changing industry/ platform. Will we be just as prepared for the “new normal”? Only time will tell but for now the above is what I’m personally using so as long as you have a laptop and a great team around you – you will continue to succeed.

I would love for you to share your thoughts and experience to, so as a collective we can share our experiences, knowledge and recommendations!

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Author - Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at Fall Off The Wall, a forward-thinking TV advertising & creative production agency in the UK. Jamie Smith is an experienced Creative Director with a demonstrated history of working in the DRTV marketing and advertising industry.