From the first cup of Joe to sundowners: What life is like at Formative Content
There’s no such thing as “average” or “typical” when it comes to a day in the life of Formative Content.
Each new day brings a kaleidoscope of content requests from clients, with fresh creative challenges for our team members to get their teeth into.
Here’s just a snapshot of what we get up to in the office… or in our slippers at home.
A good morning
9.15am – After a rapid flurry of zoom doorbell pings, CEO Gay Flashman shares her team updates in our all-staff Daily Huddle, from announcing new business to wishing colleagues happy birthday. Gay throws to Senior Content Strategist Jo Perry, one of our team of trained mental health first aiders, to introduce our new #UnusualPlaces initiative. The idea is to share pictures of our lunch break wanderings in the Wellness channel on our intranet – the more unusual, the better. The initiative is intended to encourage more variety in our work-from-home days and will also give us an insight into each other’s lives.
10am – After our teams have peeled off into their own huddles, there’s a no-meetings window of two hours, enabling people to get their heads down and allow those creative juices to start flowing. Here we find Dan Gray, Deputy Team Lead, Visuals, in his favourite part of the day. He’s just come off a call with a Content Strategist to discuss the brief, script and design elements for a new piece of work. Some quick research – from looking closely at the client’s branding to finding inspiration for a particular art style – helps flesh out any ideas already forming. Then he’s cutting bits of footage together, or sliding keyframes around to make some interesting animations, playing with colours, textures and fonts on a motion graphic or gif, or colour correcting photos. When Dan’s satisfied that it tells the client’s story, he starts to render the work – and puts the kettle on.
12pm – The Editorial Team, led by Briony Harris, is having lunch together in the office with the Senior Content Strategist Team, led by Alex Gray, and learning about each team’s approach to creativity and workflow over sandwiches, cake and kettle chips. In Formative’s hybrid working environment, the office has become a place for just this kind of face-to-face collaboration, ensuring that we work together creatively and efficiently to deliver engaging content quickly. From short-form copywriting for infographics, via catchy news-led blogs and thought leadership articles, to whitepapers and entire reports for clients, our written work is incredibly varied and keeps our team of journalists fully engaged.
1pm – Our MD Paul Muggeridge is holding a Management Team meeting, with all the Heads of Department across Formative. These regular meetings focus on ensuring we’re always achieving our mission to consistently delight our clients, ensuring workloads are manageable for team members across the business, the evolution of our fully flexible hybrid working environment and anything else important that the company is facing.
2pm – Paul has a quick breather and a bite to eat and then jumps back onto Zoom to lead a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working group meeting to discuss updates to our DEI policy and how the first company volunteering day went. Organised by Editorial Team Manager Charley Edmond, the day involved a group from across the business getting their hands dirty to replant part of a local woodland with native trees and remove undergrowth.
3pm – Over in the virtual Social & Insights Team (not yet working in the metaverse, but it’s surely just a matter of time…), Social Media Coordinator Hannah Sutherland is busy sending out finished content into the world through our clients’ social media channels. She’s spent the morning polishing social copy with the rest of her team – and often has the satisfaction of seeing the culmination of everyone’s hard work go live.
4pm – Mug of green tea in hand, Edith Molulu, People and Culture Manager, is having a call with a new starter who’s only a few days into their role. Formative grows quickly and we work hard to tailor each new starter’s onboarding journey to them as an individual. The People and Culture Team are the first people employees build a connection with during the recruitment process, so it’s important to stay in touch and ensure they’re getting the support they need. One of the key onboarding elements is called “15×15” – new starters chat to 15 different team members for 15 minutes each, to help them get to know the Formative family. Tea is optional.
5pm – Formative’s trailblazing Senior Digital Marketing Apprentice Tom Crowfoot is wrapping up his time as a Recruitment Assistant, his fourth placement in a three-year rotation around the business. (He spends four days a week at Formative and one at a London university – and has opened the door to two more talented apprentices.) His last email of the day is an offer letter for a candidate he’s been on the whole recruitment journey with – and as his cats Olive and Percy jump onto his lap, he gets a buzz from the mouse click that will give someone a new job.
6pm – On the last client call of the day, Account Director Rob Smith is speaking to one of our big US-based clients. On this weekly check-in, he’s talking through the work schedule for the week and updating the client on work in progress.
7pm – Once he’s done, Rob joins Employee Experience and Wellbeing Manager Caroline Rundle to welcome new starters to a social event in Beaconsfield, with pizza and drinks. At Formative we like to socialise and get everyone together to catch up and have fun when the hard work is done – before starting fresh tomorrow.
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