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How flexible working can make us all more creative

Digitas

Katie Carruthers

How flexible working can make us all more creative

Most of the people reading this will be lucky enough to work in places that do their best to foster creativity – in agencies we usually have the pool tables, the coloured bean bags, the coffee shop or bar, and (in our case) unicorns everywhere. And even though a day sketching out ideas in the sunshine on the roof terrace is very enjoyable, much of the rest of the way we all work is very traditional.

Most people in the creative industry still work five days a week, from 9am-6pm at least, although for many, leaving at 6pm is a luxury. It’s more like late nights and weekends, especially when there’s a pitch – Domino’s Vegi Volcano at 11pm anyone?

We call ourselves creative, but is churning out ideas day and night at the same old tables really making the most of our talents? Many of us were attracted to the industry because we were writers, illustrators, artists, filmmakers, but with long working hours, that other half of ourselves often falls by the wayside. We’re so busy thinking about how to sell butter, beer, or the latest car for the urban explorer, that we don’t have time to make robots, paint landscapes or write novels anymore.

Katie Carruthers

Katie Carruthers

Creative Director AT Digitas

Award-winning creative director and copywriter, Katie joined Digitas in 2015. Since then, she’s tried to make sure her ideas are more than just adverts, turning them into interesting things people can do, entertaining things they’d like to keep, or products they’ll actually use.  For example, for Danone, instead of just creating a range of communications about their baby formula milk, she created personalised, animated storybooks for parents to read to their kids at bedtime while having their milk. And the Cannes Lions winning Pigeon Air Patrol project, where three pigeons Tweeted warnings to people about air pollution in London, which funded and launched a range of personal air pollution devices. For UBS, her ‘The Questions That Can’t Be Googled’ campaign, gave 1,000 students the chance to explore the questions shaping our future with four Nobel Laureates all live on stage.  She’s sat on panels to judge awards for Campaign and Creative Circle, has been a regular mentor for young students at The One Club Creative Boot Camp and, taken part in panels and discussion groups for She Says.   Katie’s also got three daughters and writes science fiction novels on Fridays.

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