Dealing with anxiety as Australia’s ad industry returns to the office



Advertising staff are reporting anxiety and stress as the industry returns from working remotely in an office due to the pandemic in 2020.

Most come into the office three or more days a week, but nearly two-thirds of agency staff say their workload has increased.

an electronic book, The return to work guide for Adlandwas launched to help the industry meet the challenges of this new world of work and encourage mental well-being.

Guide features advice, tips and inspiration from industry leaders and clinical experts on managing the well-being and safety of employees and self.

The book was created by the Mentally Healthy Change Group (MHCG) with support from social purpose organization UnLtd and Never Not Creative.

Contributors include Nickie Scriven, CEO of Zenith Media, Paul Sigaloff, Managing Director of Verizon Media, Prue Cox, Chief Marketing Solutions Officer of LinkedIn, Kurt Burnette, Chief Revenue Officer of SWM, Tim Stuart-Harris, Chief Commercial Officer of Ashton Media, Fleur Marks, Regional Director of PubMatic, Peter Barry, CEO of IPG Mark Coad, PHD Head of Growth and Marketing Chloe Hooper. Ben Shepherd, former CEO of Thinkerbell, Nik Kontoulas, CEO of JustEggs Digital, and Sean Hall, founder of Energx.

The guide comes as a survey of more than 2,000 media agency workers in May revealed concerns about mental wellbeing and returning to the office:

  • 25% cited high levels of anxiety (down from the depths of the pandemic), and a further 43% said average levels of anxiety.
  • 25% admitted to high levels of stress, with 47% citing average levels.
  • Agency respondents reported higher levels of stress than their media owner partners.

Social enterprise MOOD Tea has partnered with Mental Health First Aid Instructors (MHFA) to offer a tailor-made training offer to industry.

The training is delivered by Chloe Hooper, a qualified mental health first aid trainer and active member of the MHCG.

Kate Holland, Co-Chair of Mentally Healthy Change Group and Account Director at UnLtd: “As an industry that thrives on connection and collaboration, the pandemic has truly changed the way we engage and communicate with each other.

“With high levels of anxiety and angst reported upon returning to work, new measures to reassure and build confidence were needed to address these gaps.

“This new ebook is a great resource for those looking for advice on being proactive in today’s unpredictable climate.

“As an industry, we want to continue to foster a positive relationship with each other and continue to break the stigma of openness and vulnerability together when it comes to mental health.”

Chris Freel, CEO of UnLtd: “UnLtd will always champion mental health and support services in the media industry. It’s important to see industry leaders come together for a great cause.

“In times like this true leadership comes to the fore, we all live in uncertain times, and the more we can open up, share our concerns and our advice, the more likely we are to ensure that our incredible industry and its people can continue. to thrive.

“It’s truly inspiring to see industry leaders come together for a great cause. With the right initiatives and incentives, it’s the small actions that can have the biggest impact. It’s the only short conversation that can ultimately save a life.

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