By B&T Magazine
Atomic 212° is at the forefront of developments in workplace structure, productivity and flexibility. The media and advertising agency has spearheaded a multi-faceted approach that will see the business position itself as the ‘Workplace of the future’.
“We are gradually implementing dozens of small changes across the business, experimenting with unique ways of working in order to create a flexible work environment and hopefully foster creativity,” CEO Jason Dooris said.
“This isn’t about having all the answers, it’s about adopting a test and learn mindset. Just because people have been working a certain way for years, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way to work, or the most productive or efficient.”
Phase one of the agency’s productivity plan was the ‘Talk First’ Initiative, which the business rolled out in late 2015. This saw the agency ban internal emails, in a bid encourage staff to talk to each other rather than firing off emails constantly. The initiative was aimed at improving work-life balance and to stop staff members assigning tasks on weekends and outside of work hours.
“We implemented the ‘Talk First’ initiative in order to stop professional discourtesy, where staff would simply allocate tasks without actually talking to the people around them,” Dooris said.
The second phase of the plan has been implemented in recent weeks. Phase two was coined the ‘Fresh Air Project’. This revolves around flexible working environments. For example, Atomic 212° employees are encouraged to take lightweight tables and chairs onto the Atomic 212° wharf in Walsh Bay in order to generate creativity and bolster productivity.
“A change in environment can have a huge impact on creativity. We work in such a beautiful part of Sydney that is seems ludicrous to be couped up in the office, especially when we are supposed to be generating creative ideas.”
The agency is bringing the notion of a flexible work environment to life through a number of small changes to the office – these include standing desks, remote office strategies and hot-desking. The most senior staff in the business frequently relocate their work spaces within the office, in order to give junior staff access to the most experienced people in the business.
The agency also began introducing the Double Robotics telepresence robot in its offices to allow for a mobile, remote office experience. The Double device is a portable screen with video and audio capabilities, which can be controlled and manoeuvred remotely. This allows staff members to attend meetings and workshops from their home, or from different Atomic 212° offices around Australia and New Zealand.
The third phase of the plan relates to flexible work hours. “We haven’t developed a fancy name for this phase yet,” Dooris joked.
The agency has been a major supporter of flexible work hours since its inception. “There is a major issue in our industry with mothers returning to work – we have put flexible structures in place to encourage women to come back to work after having children, in an environment where they don’t have to feel guilty for leaving the office to spend time with their families. We have staff who leave the office a couple of times a week to go to university. We have staff who prefer to work from home on some days. We’ve always been very flexible.”
However, the third part of Atomic 212°’s workplace rollout will see this approach solidified in the agency’s business plan and performance indicators. “We’ll be ramping this up significantly in the coming months.”
Many of these changes were inspired during Dooris’ frequent business trips to Japan. “The flexible workplace model in Japan is very impressive. We certainly don’t want to replicate everything, but the flexibility strategies I saw were a real eye opener.”
Dooris was careful to point out that these workplace changes have not been designed to upend the entire office. “Banning internal email definitely took some adjustment, but the other changes have been incremental. It’s about creating a flexible work environment which caters for different people.
“Some people prefer the standing desks, other people like to sit. Some people have taken to working outside with gusto, whereas others are comfortable at their desks in the office. Some people like to take a couple of hours off in the middle of the day to do their chores or exercise, others prefer more traditional hours. We don’t want to be encouraging people to work ridiculous hours, but if someone is a night owl and does their best work at midnight, we want to allow them to work when they feel most productive. We want to cater to everyone’s preferences.
“This isn’t an entirely altruistic move. The idea is to create a more effective and productive workplace. We are testing and learning as we go along, but anecdotally the changes are already having a very positive impact on the business.”
About Jason Dooris
I have created and designed marketing and growth strategies for some of the world’s recognisable brands including Amazon, Deloitte, Saatchi and Saatchi, Optus, Virgin Mobile, Big W, Woolworths Supermarkets, Dan Murphys, Nespresso and Landlease. I have also worked with many Government departments on culture change and identity branding.
I am passionate about people leadership and development - empowering and engaging large marketing and brand teams through coaching, training, and mentorship for performance excellence. I currently lead a global/remote team across multiple locations including Australia, Argentina, Hong Kong and China.
I have a proven history of achievement in delivering corporate growth plans, and successful marketing initiatives to stimulate revenue growth and outperform sales objectives and have strong digital technology capabilities in advertising, communications, social media, marketing, and creative agency management.
My career experience has enabled me to present and speak across numerous platforms and industries as a subject matter expert, namely: ABC News, Sunrise, for the Australian Government, IBM Annual Global Conference, Emirates Annual Conference, AMP Board, New York Art Directors Club, Media & Marketing Europe, Australian Financial Review, and Web Summit.
I also volunteer my time and give back to the community via Board and Committee memberships.
Some key achievements and skills:
Ø Exceptional abilities in the development/implementation of marketing and growth innovations, ensuring business sustainability and continuous growth while cultivating strategic partnerships.
Ø A high impact leader and influencer with proven expertise in directing/coordinating all top to bottom functions of marketing, media, data analytics, traditional, & digital creative campaigns, business processes and performance groups.
Ø Completed large scale advertising and marketing projects, managing the entire product lifecycle, including research, prototype development, manufacturing, sales, branding, and marketing.
Ø Outstanding business and financial acumen with a forward-looking approach and collaborative styles.
Ø Interpersonal dexterity and executive influencing skills to build and sustain strong and mutually beneficial professional relationships with key stakeholders, clients, and staff members.
My area of expertise includes Brand Awareness & Integration, New Business Development, Team Leadership & Direction, Public Speaking Abilities, Consultation Services, Growth Strategies Implementation, Commercial Business Acumen, Hard-Hitting Negotiations, Stakeholder Engagement, Course Marketing, Business Transformation, Marketing & Advertising, Product Development, Risk Mitigation, Advertising and Media Solutions.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my personal website jasondooris.com
“Its been an exciting first half!” Jason Dooris