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Havas’s Vanessa Romann on the hybrid future of work: ‘We will learn as we go’

The Drum Awards for Agency Business celebrates the agencies that excel through strong workplace culture, effective management and excellent performance. The jury this year is led by Vanessa Romann, chief growth officer and managing director at Havas New York. In this series, she gives insight into the agency’s culture and outlines her hopes for this year’s awards.

If you work for a special agency, there’s still time to enter and be recognized for its great work and culture. You can apply for an extension here. You can also check out last year’s winners for inspiration.

While many of us now take remote working for granted, Romann acknowledges that there are unexpected downsides. “We were very productive in 2020, as we moved from the office environment, because we mimicked on the computer a lot of what happened in real life.“

Now, though, she has begun to notice screen fatigue. “There‘s a lack of organic interaction across client relationships and among teammates. It‘s hard to joke around, it‘s hard to laugh, it‘s hard to interrupt with a small head nod without disrupting the flow of the meeting.“

Those interpersonal cues often feed into career development and workplace relationships, but Romann believes a creative company like Havas is at an advantage when it comes to adapting. “We love the work we do – who we do it with, and how we get it done, are so much part of the experience that we have in a creative company.

“So I think coming together again will be great. But I also think we‘ve learned a lot about how to work autonomously, so I‘m hoping the best of both worlds happens.“

If that doesn‘t happen perfectly? “We will learn as we go. There‘s always time to iterate and improve on on our model.“

You can watch the full interview with Vanessa Romann on our YouTube channel.

Find out more about The Drum Awards for Agency Business here.

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