The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way in which we work. Many employees now have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere and are happy to skip the long commute into the office. Remote and hybrid working models have become almost ubiquitous, but with this fundamental change in how we work, the ability to effectively collaborate virtually with colleagues, clients, and teams has become more important than ever. Especially amongst creatives.
The pandemic not only changed where employees work, but also how they work together. Collaboration was previously taken for granted as something that could be done in-person, and with the shift to remote work there was a greater importance placed on virtual collaboration tools. Three in four employees (74%) claim that cross-platform capabilities and the ability to collaborate with others on the device of their choosing are extremely important to them. It can’t be understated the value that all employees put upon the ability to collaborate, and this is especially true among younger generations who’ve grown up immersed in technology.
Yet, there appears to be a disconnect between employee expectations and the value organisations place on virtual collaboration tools. 70% of employees believe better collaboration would improve employee productivity and time savings and 55% of Gen Z and 45% of Millennials say they have quit or would consider quitting their job due to poor collaboration.
But why should leaders of creative organisations care?
The need for collaboration among Gen Z creatives
Collaboration is an essential part of the creative process. The ability to collaborate, share, improve, and work on various ideas with many stakeholders is fundamental to creative roles. It also helps keep colleagues, clients, and teams connected and working together, from anywhere.
But for many employees, there hasn’t been enough importance placed on collaboration, and this issue stems from the top. 78% of office workers believe that their company leadership isn’t doing enough when it comes to promoting collaboration within the organisation.
In an age where over 50% of Gen Z work in a hybrid model and 48% work completely remote from home, effective collaboration plays an integral role for the success of those individuals to be able to work together with their team and clients, produce work and meet deadlines.
Without the tools to facilitate collaboration, more than a third of Gen Z workers will not be able to get work done efficiently. In an industry where collaboration is needed between designers, clients, colleagues, and teams, this will greatly hinder the quality and amount of work that they can produce.
Imagine being a part of a large advertising campaign and not being able to collaborate with other stakeholders. It simply wouldn’t work! There’d be confusion, time wasted, frustration from everyone involved, deadlines would be missed, and it would likely impact the quality of the finished result. Although this sounds like a worst-case scenario, I’m confident that this is the unfortunate reality of many creative teams that lack the tools to effectively be productive and work together.
The collaborative tools used to help Gen Z creatives are out there, and they can help them thrive. But should organisations choose not to use them, there could be harsh consequences.
Gen Z creatives are not afraid to walk
Where previous generations were happy to stay in their jobs long-term, the same can’t be said about younger workers, including the creatives amongst them. A survey conducted by Pollfish found that 65% of Gen Z workers are planning to stay in their current job for a year or less.
Younger creatives are much more willing to move on from roles quickly, and organisations must do what they can to retain them during a severe skills shortage. For Gen Zers, the lack of importance businesses place on collaboration could be the deciding factor in whether they leave or stay. In a role that relies on input and feedback from multiple stakeholders, not being able to collaborate will leave these workers frustrated and looking for work elsewhere. This isn’t a surprise, since a shocking 41% of employees have left or would consider leaving their job due to poor collaboration. It’s clear that the importance of collaboration tools is something businesses cannot afford to ignore if they want to attract and retain talent.
Organisational leaders should take note. For Gen Z creatives to be able to thrive and work to the best of their ability, they need access to easy and intuitive ways to get work done. Not only would overall productivity and employee retention improve, but 60% of employees believe that better collaboration within organisations would lead to an increase in positive morale and work output.
So, what tools do Gen Z creatives need?
At its core, for collaboration to work, you need the tools to be able to seamlessly work with others, from anywhere. For Gen Z creatives to be able to produce their best work, they need the right tools for the job. However, 27% of employees claim that their organisations haven’t invested in the right tools.
So, what tools should businesses choose? While all employees need to collaborate, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution for every worker, in every role. Someone editing copy will need different software compared to someone designing logos. Creative software, like CorelDRAW, is available across-platforms and has the ability for multiple people to collaborate on design files, in real time. No matter where they’re located. Leaders must listen to their employees to determine which tools are best to bring on board.
Ultimately, for Gen Z creatives to be able to thrive in our new remote work environment, they’ll need access to tools that facilitate intuitive and seamless collaboration, and failure to adjust to this new working model will cost businesses talent.