- Inside the routine of
Yogesh Bhusare, Creative Head, SoCheers.
- He writes how his work life has changed post pandemic.
I work in a digital advertising agency, and it’s my job to manage the design team, who at a larger level deliver the requirements for the clients on a day-to-day basis. My way of looking at design in an agency is as ‘the last line of defense’, as it’s one of the key elements which brings together the entire execution of a project.
But before going into the ‘last line,’ let’s circle back and give you a small glimpse as to what my day entails.
The Noon Setup
I start the day with my team who send me their deliverables for that day. According to the urgency of each project, I help them prioritise accordingly. The order of the day for the team is set by synchronizing with the brand servicing team as well.
How do we prioritize?
Firstly, we see what type of campaigns we have at hand. There are some which are heavy on design whereas others are more tilted towards content. Both require different forms of ideation and time.
Secondly, in our field, time is of the essence as campaigns are decided on set deadlines with the brand. Therefore, we also classify the campaigns which are easier to strategize and execute as that will take less time. Online meetings are something which don’t need a special mention as they have become a normalcy.
I try to ensure that all this is done by noon. Post noon, I start with my own ideating process for campaigns based on the brand pitches that are scheduled or if any brand designs need to be updated to latest design trends. This is a longer process in general, since designs need to flow into the personality of the brand and it’s important to align
how a design route can be scaleable for the brand in the long term.
Although some functions of my day are somewhat time-bound, I have to keep myself flexible in order to attend to the requirements of my team. After I do my own ideation, the rest of my day involves multiple meetings and interactions with different members of my team. At times, I review their work, give feedback, while also nudging them in the right direction. Cross-team interactions are also done in order to streamline campaign processes, so each team is aware of what the other is doing within stipulated timelines.
In lieu of the pandemic, my days have extended beyond the normal work hours. Especially on execution days there are multiple feedback loops with internal teams. As design is often the finishing touch of a campaign, we have to constantly keep ourselves on our toes and see it till the finishing line. But the creative satisfaction that comes from
seeing our creative work being used on brand pages or websites or hoardings, is worth all the feedback loops that it may go through before that.
The Pandemic Plot
The pandemic came with some adverse effects, and has changed how we used to work. In normal times, especially with regards to client pitches, we conversed with them directly. It was relatively easy to understand the reactions from stakeholders and gauge the room in face-to-face interactions.
In a post-pandemic situation, firstly, client conversations have lessened drastically. Secondly, even when we connect with the client over an online call, it is very difficult to understand the real time reactions. Additionally, there are multiple rounds of calls for a single campaign which at times, really disrupt the creative process.
However, there is an upside. In the pandemic, we have saved some time as we are working from home. There is an added flexibility in the way we operate. Hence, we are trying to use this to our advantage, flex our creative muscles and make multiple design options for our clients. This process has been a positive experience for us. Brands normally choose one design out of the lot and provide feedback which helps us understand what is working and what’s not, thus giving us some perspective for future projects.
What keeps me going?
One of the key changes which I personally have noticed is that I am getting less time to work on my own projects. For me, I’ve also been a creator outside of work and have been trying to build my personal brand. It has been a bit difficult to separate the personal and professional during the pandemic, like many others. However, at the
same time, I have been able to bond with my team. I am having ample interactions with them, which spans beyond the realm of work. In my experience, I have realised that creativity (be it personal or professional) is an expression. Any form of artistic expression comes from a personal space. Hence, it is very important for any leader -
more so during the pandemic - to constantly keep a check on their team members and engage them personally to ensure they are keeping well and performing at their best.
It’s amazing how every day, in some tiny way, I realise that my job lets me express my creativity to create a visible impact. In totality, there is an amalgamation of organizational processes coupled with a creative outburst which for me, is a brilliant motivation to wake up every morning.