Are Long Agency Hours Par for the Course?

Yesterday, we addressed the culture of long agency hours, laying out the case that this tradition is unnecessary and ultimately self-defeating for creative businesses.

Many agreed, although some said long hours are simply an inevitability of a cutthroat client-services business. One the one hand, agency execs say it’s inefficiencies, business-model problems and dated office cultures that lead to staffers spending so much time on the job. On the other, they suggest it’s essential to spend that time in order to build the relationships and creative rapport needed to produce great work.

“If you’re young and without kids, work blurs with social life,” Jonathan Akwue, a partner at Engine London, tweeted.

Sanders Consulting Group suggested agencies need to learn to work faster as marketing cycles speed up. “Slowness is a real liability…. Most of the time if a marketing firm moves faster, you can make better profits. Working more hours just to burn hours hinders this and will not let you transition from just billable to value added.”

Meanwhile, Ad creative Morgan Carroll said it’s time for agencies to “work smarter, not harder,” and TBWA global creative director Rob Schwartz added, “The talent to revenue model is so fucking broken it made me say ‘fucking’ on Twitter. Seriously.”

We want to hear your thoughts on the issue. Does the agency-hours issue need fixing? Or is it just part of the business? Vote on it in the poll, leave your comments below or email your thoughts to me at

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Image via Shutterstock
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