How bad are the working hours at London’s top agencies (Uncommon, Mother, WK etc) in this pandemic? I’ve heard stories of people with complete Zoom burnout.

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I've done stints at Mother and W+K pre-pandemic. W+K was particularly brutal. Had a few 110 hour weeks on big pitches and 50-60 hours in normal times. Mother was intense too but not quite that bad. No idea what they're like now.

helpful

Hate to break it to you, but good ideas take time. There seems to be a general consensus, especially among young creatives, that just being at one of these mentioned agencies means you’ll make good work.No. You have to put in the hours. Also, I’d kill to be a creative with zoom checkins every other day...I could actually concentrate on thinking. So much whining and complaining nowadays.

smart

wow thank you, I have so much more to ask about this. I’m getting two half hours a day to think. Did you find certain agencies (or people) were notorious for breeding over-work culture? I’m gearing up for a change and want to avoid the hardcore, 65 week, weekend places. I’m a mum. I’m 39. I’m done with it!

Adam & Never Leave

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Hi 👋

😢😢😢 I had to work on a Saturday... weaklings!

Uncommon? 😂😂😂

Hi, I work at a&e. All of our people are crazy smart and crazy nice. Sure, it’s not for everybody. A lot of people do leave within their first year because it is intense, I will admit that. I think management has way more to do in ensuring that we slow down just a little bit in order for people to not burn out, especially during the pandemic. When one department is overworked, it has a ripple effect on every single department. For years we pride ourselves on being organised chaos and I will say at the moment it’s just too chaotic, too fast, too many meetings and not enough breaks in the day, and not enough saying no. Proper things need to be put in place now to adapt HOW we work for flexible working. I think a lot of people in my department and planning are close to burn out but don’t dare admit it. BUT - a&e is also great. Nowhere else I’ve worked has the right chemistry: effective, high budgets, incredible people to learn from. I’m going to stick it out. I wouldn’t if there was even one whiff of an ego. They seem to hire both the best and the kindest people.

helpfullike

I know WK put in rules to no longer be referred to as “Weekend and Kennedy.” No idea if anyone has stuck to those guidelines.

SD1, you are bang on. Unfortunately you are in a minority. Too often it’s left to the creatives to find an insight, or rewrite the brief to then be post-rationalised by the planners. I can’t remember the last time I was genuinely excited by a brief. Not the brand or opportunity, the actual brief. Most times I feel as though the client might as well just brief the creatives directly, rather than planners taking weeks to ‘nail’ it and then present a brief as insightful as “People like to have fun” or “This tastes good”. And to your other point, knowing when to get out of the way is a real skill that most don’t have, nor I suspect, want to acquire.

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