Live to Work or Work to Live at Your Agency?

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During a panel discussion at our local ad show judging recently one of the questions asked of the judges was whether or not their lives away from work helped them do better work.

The answers given were interesting because they seemed contradictory.
Bart Cleveland
Bart Cleveland

One judge said his job pretty much required his being there 24 hours a day and that he really didn't spend time away from work. Another said he frequently spent time away from work and that by being away he did much better work when he returned.

Both of these individuals are at the top of their game. We see their work in our most revered shows year after year. So it would seem they are both right. This made me wonder; perhaps they are working more similarly than it appears.

Could it be that the one who is working crazy hours is spending a few of those hours shooting baskets or something? The other guy who takes a break by leaving the office shoots baskets too. But he goes to the neighborhood park to do it. They both are shooting baskets to relax and give their brains a chance to work out the solution, just in different locations. Maybe great work is a 24-hour job no matter where your brain is located? Scientists tell us our brains work subconsciously on problems. So if we're all working 24 hours a day, what's the difference in these two points of view about how the work gets done? I think its lifestyle.

Some agencies are micro societies that employees' social and professional lives are contained fully within. It's similar to belonging to a health club where you work out with a group. You get up and go to the workout because you know someone is expecting you.

Other agencies provide employees with a life outside the firm and are societies as well but with a different view of things. I have a friend who worked at one of advertising's most creative agencies. He went home every night at about 6 p.m. -- everyone there did under normal circumstances. The agency managed their time to allow that culture to exist.

That agency is still doing great work and their employees are still going home at a decent hour. So choose your lifestyle. Live to work, or work to live. Just make your work is something that all the rest of us wish we had done.
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