How R/GA is making the hybrid experiment work

“It’s not perfect, I can tell you that now,” says Rebecca Bezzina, senior vice president and managing director of the London branch of R/GA. Since the pandemic, the creative agency has moved to a fully flexible working environment, meaning employees can decide when and how they work.

This means some are on remote contracts, and potentially working from a location outside of R/GA offices, while others have adopted a hybrid approach, coming into the office as they wish. There are no mandated days – although R/GA has set up more regular in-person meetings for the company as a whole. Bezzina describes it as “the biggest experiment we’re all part of right now”.

Conversations around remote and hybrid working can provoke impassioned responses, from both staunchly pro and anti camps. Whatever your personal feelings about it, there’s no denying the challenges that come with adapting to a new way of doing business. Bezzina says that R/GA has consistently measured employees’ feelings on the topic. She says that while most people want to be in the office only a couple of days a week, the shift to hybrid has been bumpy at times.

“I think what’s interesting for a leader in building a creative culture is that you do, over time, erode the culture [with hybrid or remote working], and need to make sure you’re creating it in a different way now,” she tells CR. “It’s also making sure you get the curiosity and creativity and connection you get in an office, when you’re around people physically. How do you replace some of those things? Therefore, we’re not doing just what we did before. We’re trying to employ new ways while recognising that ­people still want flexibility.”

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