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W hat has been evident during the recent pandemic, is that being in the same room is not what drives creativity, collaboration does. With the advancement of technology and fast adoption of collaborations tools, marketers will be continuously faced with the quest to find the space, tools and culture to create a truly collaborative environment, be physical or virtual.

Being in the same room is not what drives creativity, collaboration does.

Here are 10 ways to foster creativity and innovation:

1. Physical location makes no difference

Creativity and innovation are not confined to an office space, they are present wherever we are, whenever we would like to work and with whoever we choose to collaborate. So, when communicating on a topic, the person sitting in London or Riyadh is just as engaged and creative as the person in the office.

2. Thrive on doing more with less

As demand for content rises, many marketing teams will be under pressure to up their productivity and output with the same budgets, resources and timelines. As they will essentially have to do more with less resources, which truly fosters out of the box thinking as they cannot purely rely on paid media to achieve their objectives. Working remotely allows creatives more time to research channel and messaging routes, truly benefiting individual as well as collective creativity.

3. Create a seamless creative pipeline

The acceleration of technology is driving more connectivity. This in turn is boosting the consumption of content, especially during the pandemic, as users view content more frequently and, on more devices, than ever before. Brands therefore need to create more content at a faster pace and find ways to maintain a consistent supply. Agencies need to therefore work proactively to anticipate creative client needs by building a seamless pipeline of creative ideas.

4. Equip the team with technology collaborative tools

Creative working environments and virtual collaboration tools are facilitating the next generation of idea exchange in remote work settings. E-collaboration tools are indeed critical enablers for greater productivity and efficiency by automating work flows, enabling seamless communications and managing creative projects. As far as enabling creativity itself, using the right tools is equally as essential in bringing ideas to life.

5. Enable all team members to have creative inputs

A significant trend now in creative collaboration, is the flattening of hierarchies, both inside and across organizations. Giving power back to the curious individual to self-select and “opt-in” often leads to unexpected contributions that would never happen otherwise. Anyone can say, ‘I am interested in this, and I want to be part of this.’ It’s a democratizing force and a positive one for creativity, making every voice count.

6. Find new ways to create content

In times of covid, it is important to look at creating content in news ways, while remaining safe. The key here is to leverage both existing customer assets and capture new stories in a safe and creative way to build fresh assets. It’s also the perfect time to experiment.

7. Set-up a network of collaborators

Successfully setting up a collaborative network inside and outside an organization, can be a solid competitive advantage, but only if the right partners have been selected. It is important to take time building mutually-beneficial partnerships with creative professionals not just in the same city, but internationally. Collaborators may refer clients they are not able to service, or approach another agency for a creative brand collaboration.

8. Set work/life balance boundaries

Working and creating remotely can at time be an isolating experience. For this reason, it is important to leverage e-working collaboration tools, but also to set clear work/life boundaries as much as possible. Ensuring the team connects outside of work regularly, where possible, is also critical to maintaining those relationships, and will ultimately also benefit creative outputs.

9. Regroup frequently

Team meetings in a traditional office sense, can sometimes be perceived by colleagues as a waste of time. However, in a remote working environment, it is critical to reclaim the importance of time together as a group. For the regroups to work, it must be focused on tangibly feeling the energy in the room and the creative generation of ideas, which will be empowering for everyone involved. Teams must be involved in selecting the format and the location, to ensure that everyone will be looking forward to the next gathering.

10. Avoid creative burn out

It is much easier to reach burn out unnoticed remotely, than in an office environment. A colleague is indeed much more likely to notice it in the office or around a coffee machine chat, than on a zoom call. Managing mental health in a remote working environment is definitely more so delicate than in a traditional office space. Colleagues must be encouraged to reach out if they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or closed to burn out. The current Covid pandemic alone has been a major catalyst of stress around the world, so it’s important to tackle this early on before it seriously impacts someone’s long term mental health.