The challenge of smaller suburban companies is to turn the perceived negatives of working off the main drag, so to speak, into positives in order to attract top-level talent.
For example, by decreasing commute time and related expenses, suburban companies can provide the most important perk of all — an improved quality of life. Many of our recovering Manhattanite employees have said that the extra time spent with family and friends is a privilege they would never again sacrifice.
To compete with larger agencies, smaller companies also should strive to provide a well-balanced life, providing the optimal breeding ground for inspiration and creativity. For example, generous vacation and sick days coupled with the benefits of summer hours help lure employees to suburbia.
One extreme way to recruit and keep top talent is to give employees the opportunity to create their own schedules for one week, helping them reach their optimum levels of creativity and productivity.
Some executives will always prefer the intensely competitive environments of larger agencies. But for those who work and think outside typical agency boundaries, smaller agencies offer staff exposure to various integrated departments, allowing them to see the bigger picture of how an agency functions. Even inexperienced employees are able to see the how their role fits into the big picture with much more clarity and at a faster rate than a larger company.
In addition to a better work/life balance, smaller agencies also empower employees to think of themselves as entrepreneurs instead of worker bees. Empowered employees are productive employees.