MENLO PARK, CA -- Achieving work-life balance is particularly challenging for managers in the creative industry, a recent survey suggests. Advertising and marketing executives polled said they spend an average of 54 hours each week on the job.
The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service that provides marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives among the nation's 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives among the nation's 1,000 largest companies.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "On average, how many hours do you work each week?" The mean response was 54.
"Putting in long hours is common within the creative field, particularly when planning new campaigns and product launches," said Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group. "In today's economy, there's also increased pressure to accomplish more with fewer resources, which may result in additional overtime."
Turner noted that professionals who regularly work late are at risk for burnout. "Routinely working 10- or 12-hour days takes a toll on energy levels and creativity. Delegating and consolidating tasks may help managers better balance their schedules."
She offered the following tips:
- Take your "personal clock" into account. Work on projects that require significant concentration at the time of day when you're most alert. Tackle routine duties, such as responding to e-mail and returning phone calls, when you're typically less energetic.
- Prioritize. Label tasks on a scale of one to three each day. First priorities should be accomplished as soon as possible; priority-two duties can be completed if time permits; and third-tier items can be delegated or postponed.
- Meet less often. Look for alternatives to in-person gatherings when appropriate. If a meeting is necessary, schedule it for mid-morning, when people tend to be at their best and are likely to make decisions more efficiently.
- Focus on training. Performing a task yourself may initially be quicker than explaining it to someone else. But time spent coaching employees now can reduce your workload later.
- Get outside help. If overtime is constant, consider hiring a consultant to help ease the workload for you and your team.
The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada
and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.