Here at Elastic we were lucky enough to be interviewed via email by Danae Wessman, a Marketing Communications major and Social Media minor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the United States who’s currently taking a course in Scotland on International Business.
One of her assignments while here was to interview a business and she asked us a number of interesting questions. In part three, we talk about what it’s like to work at Elastic, and what it’s like to be part of the creative landscape in Scotland.
What is the work atmosphere like at Elastic?
The overall atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Even though I’ve only been at Elastic Creative for a few months, the relaxed approach and great work/life balance has had a huge affect on my life outside of work. We come in, we work hard and we go home. There’s rarely an occasion when work spills over into personal time and that’s really important for staff.
We all pitch in and help out with bits and pieces when jobs come in, rather than working in silos which is something I think larger agencies are still doing. The great team and attitude to life in general are my favourite things about working at Elastic.
The atmosphere at Elastic manages to strike the delicate balance between relaxed and professional. We are encouraged to express our ideas and be experimental in the solutions we create.
We all play multiple roles in any given project. This can often mean expanding beyond your normal job description and pushing yourself to learn new skills. As such we pride ourselves on being able to provide a solution for almost any project – Elastic by name, Elastic by nature.
There are plenty of occasions where the directors show their appreciation for the hard work of the team, with pub quizzes, meals out and office cakes a regular occurrence. All of which contribute to a sense of being valued as an employee.
Open and relaxed. As we share the one space a discussion can appear out of nowhere and engulf the creative space in seconds, which is awesome. Coming from a previously intense, hectic space (TV) it’s beyond enlightening to work in such a calm, organised atmosphere. The work gets done at a pace that not only ensures quality but also encourages fluidity in the process of creation; something that many places lack.
It’s too easy for studios to adopt an almost factory like approach with regards to work, churning out ideas, projects and deadlines like a production line. Elastic Creative does not to this. Instead, the work/life balance encourages new ideas, experimental ventures and a place where you can express yourself creatively.
Yes, the doughnuts and cakes can get overwhelming and leave you worrying about the structural integrity of your chair. But, show me a designer that has a good tune on, coffee in hand and a slice of cake in arms reach and I’ll show you a cocktail of work and pleasure being poured in front of you.
The general atmosphere is one of good humour. This helps fuel the creative process, and it greatly helps relieve any tension when you’re busy.
Approaching any problems with good humour or even black humour helps get to a solution quicker and also means that you’re in a happier, more positive frame of mind when communicating with any clients by email or by phone, so the customer service facing perception you can provide is better.
What is the work culture like in the marketing and creative fields in Scotland?
From previous experience I feel like the general culture is work hard – play hard – work harder. It’s a competitive industry and definitely not for the faint hearted. Deadlines and large workloads are the norm in most places but you do get to be involved in some truly amazing projects.
I think the difficulty of working in marketing or creative roles is often underestimated – there’s no right or wrong answers and it sits in a bit of a grey area, so you need to be prepared for differing opinions on what people think is or isn’t creative. One thing I can say is that in this industry you’ll never be short of things to do.
Scotland has a history of innovation and I believe that is still strong today. We are fortunate to have a buzzing creative sector, with a seemingly ever increasing demand for creative services.
The line between creative and marketing is becoming more blurred. With the relatively recent introduction of digital and social, marketing creative agencies are more focused than ever on the effectiveness of their designs and delivering results for their clients.
There’s a large creative community in Scotland, and having been out and about in the industry for a few years now it constantly surprises me. You do not have to go far in the field to bump into someone you know, or know of. Whether we know it or not, the creative scene in Scotland is entwined together significantly, although working individually. Work gets noticed, reputations spread far and wide and everyone seems to know everyone else; although no one exactly knows how.
From a motion graphics point of view, I’ve always loved how encouraging the field is up here. There’s an air of competitiveness, of course, but it rarely overshadows the want (or indeed, need) to push the envelope; to inspire and innovate, to say “I wish I’d thought of that!” to your opposite number. It’s a great environment to be plonked into the middle of, and can only get stronger in the future.
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We’re happy to talk about anything, from creative marketing to creative pub quiz team names, so why not get in touch?