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03.29.22 - Makeway Culture

Serving Clients and Employees as a Work-from-Anywhere Agency

Work-from-Anywhere Agency Illustration

Two years ago, we never could have imagined being a leading digital agency with no physical presence.

A dozen of us were commuting to offices in Ohio and New York to sit at our assigned desks and return home at the end of the day.

It feels like a lifetime ago.

Today, we’re working 100% remotely. Following a forced trial period during the COVID-19 pandemic, we closed our offices and became a “virtually centralized” team and a “work-from-anywhere” agency. We’ve only grown since then and now have full-time employees in Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, and Europe.

Going permanently in this fully remote direction was not a decision taken lightly. A lot of thought went into figuring out how we could grow, empower our team to do their best work, and, ultimately, best serve clients around the world. We had the same questions that make many organizations hesitant to rethink the traditional approach: Can we deliver the same quality of work in a timely manner? Can we communicate with our partners and clients as effectively? Can we get the best talent?

The answers: Yes, yes, and yes.

Delivering world-class work—Efficiently

Since becoming a work-from-anywhere agency, we have completed dozens of successful projects on behalf of clients—and we’ve done so as efficiently as ever. From website makeovers and total brand refreshes to interactive touchscreens, we have managed highly strategic and in-depth projects while collaborating remotely.

But don’t just take our word for it: The research has shown individuals and teams are working more productively in this new work-from-anywhere environment. One Stanford study found that working from home increases productivity by 13% in part because of a quieter working environment and fewer sick days.

Communicating Effectively

Back in the day, we would often travel to a client’s office, or have them visit ours, to present a progress update on a TV screen in the conference room. Then everyone would travel back to their desks, sometimes in different cities or states, and send emails with feedback.

birdseye view of 3 people working on laptops at a table

Meetings Back Then…

Screenshot image of a google meet session with 3 people and one is presenting their screen

Meetings Now

Today, using digital collaboration tools like Pastel, Miro, Octopus, and Adobe XD, we can work on projects as if our teams and clients are in the same room—whenever it’s most convenient. We make the process seamless, even for people who may be unfamiliar with a specific collaboration tool. And, because we’re a true partner, we’re willing to walk through every stage to make sure our clients have a handle on this tech.

Additionally, the switch to a work-from-anywhere agency has saved a lot of time across all stages of a project.

Digital Collaboration for a Work-from-Anywhere Agency
Getting the Best for the Job

By making the switch to fully remote, we are able to hire the best candidate no matter where they reside. Up until mid-2020, all of our employees had to be located in (or willing to relocate to) Columbus, Ohio, or Rochester, New York. Today, we’re open to hiring anyone on planet Earth (and stay tuned for an announcement about our first Martian hires 🛸). This evolution opens up a lot of possibilities and unleashes growth potential.

Today, many professionals are seeking out positions where they’ll be able to work from anywhere.

“I love the flexibility that working from anywhere allows. Being able to take breaks outside, snuggle my pets, and eat in my own kitchen has made me more productive and energized throughout my day.”

– Danielle, Project Manager, Makeway

Workers are saying “no” to going back to the old days when the day started and ended with a commute. In fact, Upwork found those who are working remotely due to COVID save an average of nearly 50 minutes a day on commuting. That’s an incredible amount of time back in our days, weeks, and months. And, however much you may like true crime podcasts, no one really likes commuting.

Remote work has been shown to significantly improve mental health, as more than 80% of people surveyed by FlexJobs said more work flexibility allows them to better care for themselves. For instance, remote workers report exercising more—and we don’t need to explain how important that is to mental health and overall well-being!

We’re seeing incredible interest in this new flexible work style on the part of employees and candidates. We’re retaining the great people we’ve recruited, and our latest job post for a developer had over 200 applicants.

The old adage to “never let a good crisis go to waste” certainly applies here. It took a nudge in the form of COVID-19 to get us to rethink our work strategy, but it has paid off in spades.

The general consensus is that, in our industry, there‘s no going back to pre-COVID ways. And at Makeway, that’s perfectly okay with us.