Just before Christmas we were delighted to meet with a lovely reporter from the EDP who wanted to come to speak to us about our working practices and how we have changed our attitude towards time management within our workplace. Last September we embraced the Swedish notion called ‘lagom’ for all aspects of our brand and work including having a structured 6 hour day. The results of her hard work were published today, the full article is available here https://tinyurl.com/yacur26x and it’s well worth a read.
To be clear, I have never been to Sweden and do not profess to have all of the answers, but when reading about the philosophy and way of doing things, lagom just made perfect sense and I knew we had to investigate further. The word does not have a direct meaning in English, but we refer to it as the ‘Goldilocks effect’ not too little and not too much, and of course you can apply this to many aspects of both business and personal lives.
When I took over as Director of made last year I wanted to review all aspects of our ‘brand’; how we service our clients, how we approach our visual identity and how we interact with each other. All business have some form of ‘feel’ about them; what it is like to do business with them and/or work for them. This ‘feel’ is actually a company’s brand – a word which is often confused with a logo or visual identity. We quite quickly realised that lagom could provide us with that clear focus and shared goal as to how we go about things, and it has certainly had an effect!
We call ourselves a Creative Marketing Agency (which often gets wrongly interpreted in the spectrum of different marketing agencies); we are primarily focused on good design, both visually and of how we approach technical solutions for our web development. We have always been an agency that likes to keep things simple and straightforward, working closely with our clients to provide the practical solution. Being lagom was not a big change for us in this way, it just seemed to be something everyone understood and could perhaps relate to. We made sure that we started to approach all aspects of our work with this in mind as we believe it’s not about making big changes, but rather making improvements to the small things which make a big difference. We took this through into our visual identity, changing our logo and colour scheme to be more ‘Scandi’, even our office is certainly very ‘Ikea’.
Changing our working pattern was another aspect of this which was met with some slight disbelief from the team when we first discussed it. A six hour working day has been trialed successfully in Sweden and with a few other creative agencies in the UK, but it does seem quite alien to many. It has however proven to be ‘the right amount’ of time that we were looking for. Why have an hour meeting when half an hour is enough? Why does an email need to be answered immediately? Why do we spend work time doing personal things and personal time working? Why should you feel the need to stay late if you really have been working hard on something all day? Working more efficiently does not mean working less hard; being able to find that right work/life balance has certainly been great for everyone and the business. We think it’s simply about give and take – we are given more time at home in return for more focus at work.
Ok, so I know we are lucky to work in a creative agency that can actually put things like this into practise, but lagom has proven to be key to our brand throughout our business and at the very least, provides us with a differentiating factor and a shared vision. If you want to know more about how it works, feel free to join us for a team lunch one day between 12 and 1!
We are an independent creative marketing and design agency based in Norwich and Cambridge with an international client base. We have experience in delivering a wide range of marketing materials for clients and understand the importance of clear, effective communication.
We offer creative marketing, design and development services for brand, print, websites and intranet systems, so whether you would like to give your organisation a new look or you simply need to reimagine your brand, our team of designers and developers are here to make this process seamless.