Our lessons in lockdown
Like any other workplace, things have changed at Hive. In mid-March, we left our office plants, favourite pens and probably leftovers in the fridge for two weeks of work from home - which turned into 6 months, which turned into the foreseeable future. It’s been a success, all things considered, and we’ve learnt a lot about collaboration and teamwork while we’ve been in our home offices all over suburban Melbourne. In the spirit of teamwork, I wanted to share those things.
While working from home, the team have embraced the flexibility and have revelled in the opportunity to use up those hours spent commuting on hobbies, exercise and family. We’ve been able to work together as a studio like we normally would, meet our usual deadlines and continue to innovate and better our offering to our clients.
But, as expected, there was a degree of ‘pivoting’ that needed to happen for us to face the realities of this new world. And if you’re sick of hearing the word ‘pivot’ this pandemic, let me apologise in advance.
As they say, necessity is a driver of innovation. Workplaces in Melbourne, Australia and the world have been forced to adapt and innovate as they go totally digital. It’s meant that those interpersonal experiences we have at Hive as a particularly collaborative bunch have had to shift in format.
Pre-pandemic workshop bliss
Some of the most interpersonal work we do is our in-person workshops with our clients, whether it’s finding their brand’s powerful promise in a BrandScope workshop, sorting out their content strategy in a Content Compass workshop or mapping their customers’ journeys in a Game Plan workshop.
We’re used to getting everyone in a room for these, getting to know each other and our clients' brands, having insightful conversations and uncovering new ideas between team members. Post-it notes and sugary snacks flowing, we loved getting into a room with our clients to make real progress on their projects.
Saying goodbye to the sticky notes
When Covid got serious we of course, had to go digital. Google Sheets was tool number one. We’ve gotten pretty savvy with our VLOOKUPS to create smooth flowing sheets that all parties can collaborate on simultaneously during a session. Zoom is the second tool which allows us to continue to have those productive and robust discussions we had in our in person workshops.
We’ve completed five workshops in the past three months, all done remotely in stage three or stage four restrictions. It’s allowed our clients to keep progressing their marketing plans, keep their strategy moving forward and has even helped in the quest to pivot to new strategies in a new Covid world.
Strong outcomes, but stronger teams
However, there has been a surprising but welcome outcome of these workshops outside of the realm of productivity.
It comes as no surprise that morale is down at the moment. We’re living in unprecedented times, and by all accounts here at Hive, it’s the social interaction with our colleagues that we’re missing - from having someone to choose the music for the day, to hearing about what everyone made for lunch, to being able to get everyone around a table and hear their ideas on a new concept.
Our friends at IFM Investors shared some kind and valuable feedback with us following their Content Compass workshop.
“The workshop had a big impact on our team during a challenging time where we were finding meaningful ways to connect and collaborate. The content workshop was brilliant and gave us a genuine sense that we belonged to a team again and that meaningful collaboration was possible when planned and executed well."
Attendees even had a little lolly bag sent to their home for the workshop!
The way that these collaborative workshops brought a team together and made individuals feel like part of a team during isolation has inspired us to commit to setting up more group idea sessions internally here at Hive. And, it’s why we’re inviting our clients to get started on their own group workshops not only for an efficient and productive strategy session, but to help teams stick together - without the post-it notes.
Get the gang together
If you’re keen on getting the team back together to decide on the next year’s content strategy, map a customer journey or lay the framework for a new sub-brand, make sure you get in touch with Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, we can’t supply the snacks (well, not without a little planning up front) but what we can supply is a totally digital collaborative process with 25 years of experience with major brands under our belt - not to brag or anything.