Somewhere in the world, your next talented artist is waiting to be hired. They might not live near your studio, or even in a nearby city. They could be in another state or country altogether.
Just a few years ago, it was challenging to hire this person as an artist for your studio. Your recruiting efforts might not have reached them in the first place, and it was frustrating to handle everything from a distance: salary negotiation, relocation, timing, training, and day-to-day work.
Today, the tech landscape has shifted. Communication has expanded into the far reaches of the planet. Remote work has exploded, with 43 million people working at least partially remotely in the U.S., and millions more around the world. And 77% are more productive than they ever were sitting in an office.
So how do you do it? How do you leverage remote artists to increase your studio’s productivity and profitability?
If you’re accustomed to using the traditional hiring model, the thought of hiring a new artist might just make you groan.
You’ve got to bring each highly-qualified candidate to the studio, effectively killing several hours of productivity for you and their prospective supervisor. It’s expensive to bring them to you if they don’t live nearby and it’s time-consuming for all involved, especially if you realize within minutes of meeting them that this person just isn’t right for the job.
You’re back to square one and you’ve wasted a lot of time and money— and you’ve got nothing to show for it.
If your artists work remotely, why not hire them remotely? Avoid the expenditure of flying a prospect into chat. Tools like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts make it easier than ever to talk face to face, even if you’re in different time zones. You get what you need to make an informed decision and you’re not forced to eat lunch with a stranger that you don’t intend to hire.
Another advantage of using remote artists is that it’s significantly easier to hire on a temporary contract basis. For one, more and more creative professionals prefer to work this way. In fact, a whopping 70% of creative talent work on a contract basis.
Contract hiring works for the studio’s advantage as well. If you find that you need all hands on deck to complete a project, but you know that the next project doesn’t begin for at least a month, you can hire accordingly. You’ll save tens of thousands of dollars if you’re not paying workers who are waiting for something to do. And that brings us to our second point.
Remote work also allows your studio to expand, connect with new clients, and develop new projects. Your studio works without borders, maintaining a seamless workflow around the clock— just one of the advantages of engaging workers in different time zones.
When you harness the power of a remote workforce, you’ll quickly develop a reputation as a reliable, trustworthy, and cutting-edge studio that produces exceptional work. You’re always able to scale a project as needed, never missing a deadline along the way.
Additionally, you’ll be prepared to meet today’s economic realities. Established animators who prefer the comfort and convenience of their own home offices might find remote work preferable to going to the studio every day. Shackling them to an in-studio desk could lose the very talent you’ve spent a lot of time and money searching for; creating a workplace that’s friendly for remote workers can result in an increase in job applicants, not to mention the advantage of potentially attracting more skilled animators.
You’ll have more flexibility in salary negotiations and you’ll develop a reputation as a leader in the industry, as well.
The last thing you want is to be restricted by geography. Enabling prospective team members to work remotely allows you to tap a much wider talent pool. Your candidate’s location is irrelevant. If they’re not interested in uprooting their family to move closer to your studio, that’s not a deal breaker anymore. Remote work allows you access to artists who you might have considered hiring in the past but dismissed, assuming that they wouldn’t be willing or able to relocate.
Also, remote workers are just plain happier than their on-site counterparts. (See above re. working in their pajamas with ready access to snacks.) While you want your workers to be satisfied, you’re probably more concerned with their productivity.
The good news is that well-structured remote work significantly improves productivity. When left to their own devices, artists can get their work done faster and more efficiently than they can when they’re on-site with all the distractions that accompany working around a group of people.
A happy worker is a productive worker; unfortunately, what makes one artist happy might make work conditions untenable for another artist.
Remote work empowers each artist to create an environment that fosters their creativity. They can control everything, including light, noise, temperature, and general ambiance. If one artist loves to work in a bright, warm room with gentle music, another might prefer a cool, dark, silent space.
Regardless of their preference, they can create the space that best works for their processes, which will only improve their production and their overall satisfaction with their job.
Also, enabling remote work will give your studio a reputation for being family friendly. If, for instance, an artist prefers to stay close to their aging parents, a remote set up will allow for that.
You’ve surely got artists with children working for your studio; offering them the flexibility to meet their children when they get off the bus, for example, will increase their workplace satisfaction. When their child is sick, your artist won’t have to take a day away from the project; instead, they can work while the child naps. It’s a win/win for all involved.
As we said before, contracting with remote artists will result in significant savings. But there are other ways that working with off-site animators will positively impact your studio’s bottom line.
One of the primary advantages is space. When you don’t need to find room for additions to your team, you don’t need to pay extra for real estate that won’t necessarily be in use all of the time.
Say, for instance, you need to bring on additional artists to push a project to the finish line. If they’re working on site, you’ll need to accommodate everyone. When the project’s over and their contracts are expired, you’re still paying for that additional space.
If your artists work remotely, the costs related to real estate are non-existent. You’re not paying for their heating and cooling, you’re not paying for any tech costs or electricity, and you’re not paying for the square footage taken up by their desks.
Additionally, they’ll probably have their own equipment— and if you use a cloud-based platform, they’ll only need a laptop with a reliable internet service. You won’t be responsible for having a high-powered station set up for every artist on your roster.
Does the artist you hope to hire live far from your studio? No problem. When you embrace the idea of working remotely, you won’t have to pay any expenses related to relocation.
Now, your artists have considerably more choice in where they work. So long as they’re located relatively close to the data centers hosting your studio, they can live where they wish— you’ll still get to work with them.
Does the artist live a few blocks from the studio? That’s okay. Perhaps they’ll work better in their own space. Many people appreciate the flexibility of working remotely. Maybe your artists prefer to work in their pajamas with ready access to their snack of choice. Regardless, it will be a big saving for your studio.
Wondering how to make remote animation work for your studio? Request a demo of Nimble Studio, the enterprise cloud-based animation platform that allows studios to attract remote animators from around the world.