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Indoor Insights : Hervé from Base GVA on keeping a tight-knit team in times of social distancing.

Discover the Base Partners' latest thoughts about the future of branding, design, digital, and the creative process in these unusual times. We'll be publishing their opinions every few days. Stay tuned. Stay home.

How have you guys been coping with this new work “mode” as a team?
Surprisingly well! I have to say it’s the first time we have tangible proof that the rituals we have implemented at Base really do work. These past 2 years we’ve been fully invested in building a strong, united team. In these peculiar times I realize that we are lucky to have addressed this before the crisis. Everyone here gets along great, they know each other well, they know how to work with each other. It makes us very efficient, and therefore things continue to be quite organic, even during the confinement.

Can you tell us more about how you’ve managed to build this team spirit with the help of Gerald and Anthony?
I think I speak for all of our studios when I say that at Base we have always recruited personalities as much as skill sets. Obviously, we always select talented individuals, but the human aspect remains just as important. We always make sure that the new team member will get along with other Basers. We usually try to get our teams aboard the hiring process pretty quickly. Whenever it’s possible, we let them have a say in who will be joining us. We find this important so that everyone is comfortable and that this “family spirit” we have going on continues to foster.

Another thing that has been extremely helpful in keeping the team together is the typical Base rituals we follow every week. From an external point of view it can sometimes seem ridiculous that we do all of this, but I can assure you that today we are witnessing the added value. Whether it’s our weekly “Monday Challenges”, regular Creative Meetings or organizing our Base Lunches - it creates incredibly strong bonds. People become used to having meetings / appointments / moments together, exchanging ideas, trusting each other. It also helps us have a weekly rhythm. This is why today, even if we are not physically working together, we are miles away from the panicked phone-calls of a boss checking if his employee is doing his work and meeting deadlines. I have to admit that when I opened the GVA studio I was kind of skeptical regarding the real value of these Base rituals - but I realized during this crisis that it is more than useful - it’s essential.

“Whether it’s our weekly “Monday Challenges”, regular Creative Meetings or organizing our Base Lunches - it creates incredibly strong bonds. People become used to having meetings / appointments / moments together, exchanging ideas, trusting each other.”
Hervé Rigal

And even from afar you guys continue these rituals?
Yes, more than ever! No one misses the Monday morning Challenges on Google Hangouts. It helps everyone stay connected, feel included and useful.

Have you been able to use any of these tricks to facilitate the (now) virtual interactions you have with clients?
Yes and no, I think that what we are learning for the moment is that it's critical for us to increase the frequency of our client interactions when physical contact is not possible. During this crisis we have made sure to have an almost daily connection with out clients, we call everyone … it’s almost become a new routine! Before this crisis, we had a tendency to neglect that aspect of business : just calling, to know how things are going.

Any tips?

Make sure you continue to foster strong relationships with your clients and your team! Neglecting conversation, neglecting human contact with our clients and colleagues just because “everything’s OK” is a huge mistake. We have the proof today that maintaining a relationship, a contact (even when it seems futile or useless) is extremely important. Every company should make sure to continuously foster these relationships. It’s almost like implementing a health check-up of your company that monitors levels of pleasure, satisfaction and autonomy.