Systems & Smiles

Making remote work for creative firms

Nowadays, lockdowns seem like a distant memory, something we’re not even sure happened, like a dream. When someone gets (cough, cough) a virus, no one freaks out. It’s been normalised. This is, however, a post-pandemic world we’re living in.

According to figures from the ifo Institute, one of Germany’s largest economic think tanks, UK employees currently spend an average of 1.5 days a week working from their homes, more than any other European country. The Mail Online quotes these figures to crown Britain the “working from home capital of Europe ”. In this flexible and one could say privileged space, most remote workers toil in the creative industries. Surprised?

Even though companies like Disney and X (formerly Twitter) made some waves in early 2023 by pulling back on workplace flexibility, research shows that creative industries are more likely to have a high percentage of remote job listings. A recent report by software firm Vestd showed that “the marketing, communications and IT fields continue to be some of the most remote-working-friendly sectors”.

Whatever form our work pattern takes, as a society, we’re surely commuting less and working to communicate better through non-personal interactions, but are we getting it right?

When the pandemic took the world by storm, most companies were unprepared to make the switch to remote work. And that’s particularly true for the creative industries where the age-old idea that working as a team requires sharing the same physical space still persists today- as shown by Disney.

The creative industries have their own set of challenges when it comes to remote work. Even though they might be more open to it, they’re surely still learning how to overcome the challenges that remote work poses for them.


Communicating is primarily sharing information, which in a remote working environment relies heavily on file storage and sharing. This is challenging mainly because of the size of the content (think creative agency sharing videos and photos back and forth) but can also be dangerous for proprietary content.

As a creative, you need to make sure owned content stays owned and safe whilst being readily available to your team and visible to your clients.

Whilst you focus on that high-priority pitch, IT support for creative agencies will clean up the workflow by setting up tools and apps as well as file-sharing protocols that are in sync with all the departments’ needs.

Companies standardise the hardware they use so that they know where to go when something goes wrong (we, for example, specialise in Mac support). Doing the same for your software will lead to less downtime when dealing with IT issues and increased productivity. When everyone is playing by the same rules, your team becomes a stronger competitor.


Creative agencies need freedom to experiment, but that does not mean throwing all the rules out the window.

From the laid-back comfort of home, it’s more tempting for your teams to make bad decisions. After all, why can’t they add that cool plugin to their browser if they want to? Or use that new (unlicensed) font?

Shadow IT refers to situations when a department or individual that is not IT uses hardware or software without the knowledge of the company’s IT or security group. It comes with its own set of security risks and potential costs as we’ve learned from the “Zoom Boom”.

Zoom was a pandemic software superstar. Free and relatively easy to use, it was the most downloaded app on Apple devices in 2020, even though from its early days it was clear that it had security and privacy issues.


In 1964, four years before releasing what would become his most famous work, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clark, a futurist by nature, talked about what he dubbed as “the city of the day after tomorrow”.

I am perfectly serious when I suggest that one day we may have brain surgeons in Edinburgh operating on patients in New Zealand. When that time comes, the whole world will have shrunk to a point and the traditional role of a city as a meeting place for men will cease to make any sense. In fact, men will no longer commute, they will communicate. They won’t have to travel for business anymore, they will only travel for pleasure”.

On the other side of the pond, in New York’s World Fair, such marvellous innovations like colour television and the picturephone were being presented to the public for the first time. The collective imagination was mesmerised with space, thanks to science fiction writers like Clark, but his own mind went further and envisioned a city that only now, 60 years later, we are starting to believe is possible.

Book a free 30-minute to 1-hour call with Systems & Smiles and learn how we can support your company in making the most out of remote working and creative collaboration.

S&S Systems:

Our solutions, rolled out in two phases, were game changers for a distributed workforce!. First, we consolidated disconnected platforms into Microsoft 365’s suite of apps. In Phase 2, new processes were designed for a 100% remote workforce in two countries. We automated and systematised all IT, from device purchasing to onboarding and offboarding.

S&S Smiles:

No more hassles keeping track of dispersed hardware.

Security risks of hardware floating around eliminated.

Expanded remote service to include localized repair options.

Cost and time savings.

S&S Systems:

Since innovation is foundational to our client’s business, they totally entrusted us to reimagine their IT from start to finish. We consolidated and streamlined systems, achieved cyber essentials certifications in 3 months, and implemented our zero-touch deployment of Macs and PCs, including architecture industry-specific software needs.

S&S Smiles:

No more friction and frustration, not to mention cost and time savings! IT went from being a nightmare to a dream – and now we’re working on an IT roadmap strategy to evaluate future hardware and software needs as well as optimize their IT infrastructure as they grow.

S&S Systems:

We automated and streamlined all things IT, from device purchasing and management to onboarding and offboarding to core app implementation (e.g., Google workspace, Slack, Vanta) and tackled SOC2 compliance from A to Z.

S&S Smiles:

Zero-touch Mac deployment is now a team crowd pleaser, not to mention the fancy IT and media kit we installed in their posh new offices that work seamlessly, especially during new business pitches! What’s more, no big brand prospect is off the table for our client now that their compliance issues are in-hand.