The last time PSEUDO were actively contributing to a blog was back in 2013, when we were based out of Old Street and I was writing schedules for around 17 staff members. In the years since then, we’ve gone through some changes, addressing the way we work as an agency and how we impact the wider world around us. As we reopen the blog and come out from behind somewhat closed doors, it feels like the right time to let others peek into this agency of mine called PSEUDO. We’ll start from a couple of years back…
One book, in particular, helped get us where we are today: Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive, The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.” In her introduction, Arianna explains how she came to on her office floor, lying in a pool of blood. Exhausted, burning the candle at both ends and nowhere near anyone’s idea of self-care, she had collapsed from exhaustion, lack of sleep and broken her jawbone in the process. That was in 2007. Fast forward to 2016 and I’m in the back of an ambulance, covered in blood, unaware of where I was or how I got there. Again, lack of sleep and exhaustion was my cause too.
It shouldn’t be that women in this industry [or any industry] have to wake up covered in blood to realise they’ve neglected self-care for the running of their business, but we do seem to have a point to prove. Luckily, Thrive was recommended to me straight away and I read it while resting for, hmm, all of three days. But, it resonated with me. With Huffington sharing her own struggles, learnings and experience around running her business, I found I could identify and implement insights from her too.
Now, we have Wellness Wednesdays – like Arianna – once a month. The team are encouraged to do things they wouldn’t normally do – or take the time to do – to care for themselves. Borrowing the idea of ’30 in 30’ is suggested too, whereby you take 30 minutes to look ahead 30 days and do something now that you’d need to do then [for instance, this Wellness Wednesday, I’m renewing my passport, even though it’s a month too early to probably do]. Aj may take a hike in Seattle, Adrian may visit a temple in Japan and Sasha has promised to spend her afternoon planting seeds. Brandon and Ellie often come out to the countryside where I now live and we spent last Wellness Wednesday at a Goat Farm, feeding llamas, rabbits and well, goats. Importantly, since we all tend to have this frenetic, non-stoppable work ethic, we make a point to encourage and inspire each other to do things that are good for the soul on the regular. Yet, while Ellie adamantly tells us to leave our phones at home, we haven’t managed that yet. Perhaps this month’s WW will be the day. Don’t call me, huh?
Also, once a month is Pseudo Fridays, where the team finish at 1pm and start their weekend early. While this calculates out to be an extra 6 days off a year for the team, it’s a way of saying thank you for the long hours we work in-field and away from home. We’re strict about it, and continue to be so. Again, don’t call. We won’t answer.
Finally, we’re also striving to Use Our Power to Make A Difference, something we have always told our clients to do too. With a goal to be the agency brands turn to for sustainable consumer advice, we have put our time, money and effort into walking the walk we talk. Of course, it’s on-going, and navigating through the hurdles of being eco is tough, as anyone who is looking to improve their footprint knows. For an agency that tends to travel for a living too, we have grave complications to consider. Looking at the basics of where we can start when it comes to travel has been important, from choosing to stay in Airbnb’s [with good eco ratings] where we can cook and share food together, to travelling by train when we can.
With a global team, the hurdles vary widely. For Adrian in Tokyo, where the tide on plastic packaging is yet to turn, reducing his single-use plastic consumption presents an almost impossible challenge. For Aj in the US, car travel is far harder to avoid. For all of us, finding the ways in which we can make sustainable choices accessible to all, and not a preserve of the privileged is essential. Working remotely is one way we can up our efficiency as an agency; it reduces commutes and the overall resources we use. Having more say in our own homes and being considered about how we live our lives and do our work is something we’re constantly working on as a team.
We hope that the conversation around sustainability is becoming increasingly unavoidable. For real change to happen, the consumer needs brands to guide them and provide solutions and alternatives. As we address the ways we as an agency can do better, for ourselves and the environment, we hit the same stumbling blocks others do, learning from them and sharing what we find along the way.
Our connects with consumers living sustainable lives are something we’re very proud of. From pioneers living in eco communes to French farmers living off-grid, we know the people already walking the walk not just talking the (influencer) talk. For brands looking to understand the eco future at an in-depth level, please get in touch.