New year, new career: why it’s time to make the move in-house

In-house vs agency - Employment Hero's Alex Concannon makes the case for where in-house teams have a clear advantage over agencies.

With burnout rampant among workers in creative and media agencies, the opportunity to work in-house offers them the chance to focus more on their mental health and well-being – if only they knew such opportunities existed on the client side of the fence.

Agency life has always been demanding, requiring people to put in long hours to meet tight deadlines, but these demands took a particularly heavy toll during the pandemic and lockdowns.

Two years later, the world has changed, people have changed, but agency life’s pressure to constantly go above and beyond hasn’t gone away. There is now a greater emphasis on their own personal well-being and something has to give. This is where in-house teams have a clear advantage over agencies.

The trend is clear

A survey of 423 marketers and agency employees, by the freelance platform We Are Rosie, found that 63 per are demanding a better work-life balance. The lasting impact of the pandemic is stark, with 40 per cent insisting on flexible hours, and every respondent said they wouldn’t consider a job that doesn’t offer the option of remote work.

The findings also align with a recent Remote Work Report 2022, which showed a significant shift for continued remote work, and how it can have a positive impact, such as reduced cost of living, and improved well-being. 

The move from agency to in-house could be a dream job for many of these people, but the challenge we are finding is that workers in creative and media agencies do not know that such opportunities are available, and also available within a surprising range of organisations.

We’ve also had some difficulty in reaching quality candidates, as a lot of the time they are unaware that an organisation like ours has positions that are open for them, or even realise that such a role exists. For these people, especially those in junior positions who feel burned out and underpaid, there are many benefits of moving from an agency to in-house.

Improved work-life balance

Burning the candle at both ends was once considered a badge of honour but, as this changes, the desire to prioritise wellness, work-life balance, and culture can be better met in-house.

Working in-house generally demands shorter hours, tends to be more structured, and has a larger support network. You’re less subjected to high pressure and tight deadlines. 

Greater benefits

Agency life can have its perks, but often they’re actually a sweetener to persuade you to put in those extra hours and work late on a Friday. Working in-house, the benefits tend to be better suited to those who are chasing a better work-life balance and more of a focus on their well-being.

In-house benefits typically include greater flexibility, positive company culture, and more opportunities for personal growth.

More freedom and autonomy

Working for an agency you can find yourself a jack of all trades, yet a master of none.

An in-house culture presents opportunities to experiment with strategies that really respond to the business needs of one company, instead of many different clients. There is the freedom of creating specialised work, bringing an enhanced level of productivity and focus. You get to know the ins and outs of the company, so you can give its clients and products the attention they demand while gaining experience.

Enhanced career progression

Agencies tend to churn through jobs, clients, and staff. You might be doing something different every day, but the downside is that you don’t get the chance to specialise and build deep subject knowledge.

Focusing on one business and industry in-house can help you establish yourself as an industry expert and become the best in the niche market, ensuring your skills are in demand.

Alex Concannon – head of growth marketing at Employment Hero


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