Day Sixteen

The desk of Chris Jungjohann

The boss can make all the difference at just about any job. If they’re an overbearing micromanager, chances are you’re going to dread going in and spend every day watching the clock. However, if you have a boss who feels like a true part of the team, things can feel much, much different. The owners of Recess, Tim Zeller and Chris Jungjohann, fit the latter. From the moment I walked through the front door, I could sense a friendly and genuine vibe throughout the building. Tim and Chris truly care about their employees and in return the agency feels more like a group of friends than it does co-workers.

In my short time here, I’ve seen them constantly joke around with us, engage us in NERF battles, treat us to lunch and speak to us—not as employees—but as equals. In the end, I think it creates a better platform for outstanding creative. Recess is proof of that. No one minds throwing in extra hours, because everyone honestly enjoy being here. If someone is tapped out for the day that’s fine too. Tim and Chris have a rare quality, where they understand that the best work comes from happy creatives. At the same time, this place is not a zoo. Everyone here is invested in the work they’re doing and wants to see the agency succeed, but they also know how to have fun in the process.

I think this a shared mentality you’ll find at the most creative and promising agencies around the world. Being "switched on" day in and day out is a demanding process. And any agency that tries to turn it into an assembly line just can’t compete. They’ve lost sight of what creativity truly is — the culmination and expression of our shared emotions, experiences and thoughts. Sure, we all want to win awards and make a profit. That’s fine. You can do that and make the process fun at the same time. Tim and Chris understand that and Recess benefits from it. I also believe this is a trend I’ll be seeing throughout the next 13 months.

Being at Recess has taught me to have fun with what I do, but always remain dedicated to it. In the end, I’ll have awesome new stories to tell and the client will have my very best work. It’s a win/win all around.  

-Steve-

Day Ten

The Recess Team posing by the tree with some Cleveland Whiskey. 

Throughout all the agencies I’ve worked at in my career, I can honestly say that Recess has the best team structure I’ve experienced thus far. That isn’t to say other agencies are structured wrong, just that I feel most comfortable within this one. I know there are some agencies that falsely claim to blend fun and creativity with hard work and expertise, but Recess is the real deal. They own it. They live it. With Recess, what you see is what you get and that's truly magical.

Some agencies segment their departments, others break into teams and many don’t have a structure at all. At Recess, I’m finding that everyone here is on the same page at all times. The structure is one of a group mentality. We all work together toward a common goal. Sure, we might be working on different projects now, but chances are we'll all touch it before it leaves the door. I think that leads to increased collaboration, which in turn leads to a better product.

That’s the thing I really like about Recess. It feels as if everyone here has a say. Even last week, when we were discussing the upcoming Christmas party, everyone was able to share their ideas openly. In the past, I’ve worked at agencies that felt more like a dictatorship than a democracy and I just don’t think I fit into the mold. When I write a batch of copy, I want to know any missteps I have, so I can correct and learn from them. I don’t want to send my copy to a supervisor, only to later find out that they changed it. That doesn’t help me become a better writer and it doesn’t help the agency foster their talents or create quality creative.

However, since everyone at Recess has a say in what we’re creating, we have the benefit of shaping it through our collective styles, experiences and personalities. So, instead of pushing creative through the cookie cutter mold of one person’s vision, we’re capable of shaping every project differently. In the end, I think it benefits everyone involved and elevates our belief in the agency itself. 

That's what I think everyone looks for in an agency—to feel like a valued member of a tight knit and creative family. 

-Steve-