3 Major Ways Agency Culture Will Change in the New Year

Embrace your millennial workforce or risk isolating new hires completely

Culture in agencies is changing as more millennials come into the workforce. Getty Images
Headshot of Patric Palm

Diverse teams slouching in couches around the coffee machine playing games is what you can expect when it comes to workforce and workplace in 2019. Does it sound like unserious coworkers to you?

Don’t worry. It’s how your agency will get the most out of your talents and keep internal team pressure high on deliverables and deadlines.

The new year is just around the corner and will bring a new style to your agency as the number of millennials entering agencies is increasing. No matter what you think and prefer, milennials will stick to their own preferences when it comes to ways of working and collaborating at your agency. Here are the results of the new norms at your agency and how you must act upon the trends.


We all love games, and the new workforce even more so. The world of games and augmented reality is just as real as the real world for a lot of people, millennials don’t make a difference between what is happening online and the physical world. Playable ads and AR marketing will move into more mainstream marketing. AR experiences are a natural way of promoting the new season of Game of Thrones, and there is already an AR camera effect rolled out on Facebook where fans can look like the Night King. It’s a must by 2019 for your agency to venture into the gaming field and start creating innovative and fun experiences using games and AR.

In a truly digitized world of communication and marketing, the only thing separating you from your competitors is creativity and the ability to innovate for your customers.

Hackathons are a great way to get people comfortable with new technology for playable ads and AR. It allows your teams to play around, do fun stuff and learn at the same time. Remember to encourage interest in games and invest in getting the office geared up with them.


Agencies will need different types of workplaces to accommodate millennials entering the workforce who see online collaboration as the real work and the office as a place for socializing and collaborating with colleagues.

You will see teams sitting in the kitchen and slouching on couches all day rather than sitting at a desk. They prefer to work around the coffee machine and collaborate throughout the day face to face. At first glance, this may seem like lazy lions sleeping their day away, but socially gelled teams keep internal pressure high when it comes to deadlines and deliverables. A boss cranking out orders and pushing coworkers will not be needed; all that is taken care in the teams themselves.

Rethink the design of your office space and what an office space is. Do you need a desk for every employee? Is that open landscape working well for teams that need high focus and tight collaboration? Remember that the “real office” is online, and when it’s online, people need new kinds of meeting and working environments. For physical meetings to huddle around decisions, focus on deep work or socializing. Consider an activity-based office.


It’s been obvious for a while now: Agencies need to start acting upon the fact that they, as any company or organization, must reflect customers, partners and suppliers. Even more important is the fact that diverse teams are more innovative than homogeneous ones. In a truly digitized world of communication and marketing, the only thing separating you from your competitors is creativity and the ability to innovate for your customers. Agencies can work with customers from all over the world, and the workforce is willing to move anywhere if the agency has the right composition of people and culture. Make sure to take advantage of this by being inclusive.

Research has shown that diversity is one important factor for creativity and innovation, and you need to act upon this fact in the year to come as there will be an even greater demand by 2019. When putting together teams, think of who you need in the team to create innovation and creativity. To increase the number of candidates from groups of people that don’t yet work for your agency, broaden your net and widen your search.

Diversity is no longer only nice to have: It is key to stay innovative and creative and will be one of the most important decision-making points when working with employer branding and recruitment for your agency.

@PatricPalm Patric Palm is the CEO and co-founder of Favro.