Balancing the Grind with Nathan Rawlins, Chief Marketing Officer at Lucid Software

In an ever-evolving hybrid work landscape, Nathan shares how creativity and productivity find harmony at Lucid Software. He challenges the notion that creativity is solely artistic, highlighting its role in driving business and embracing change.

In this new work era, collaboration tools become indispensable, with digital-first solutions like virtual whiteboards keeping teams aligned and efficient, regardless of location. Nathan also touches on the shifting priorities towards employee well-being in the workplace and the significance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Nathan, in today’s hybrid work environment, how do you keep the creative spark alive while ensuring productivity? What tips can you share for how you balance these two crucial aspects at Lucid Software?

Marketing by nature is a creative industry. Often, creativity is conflated with the idea of something being artistic or seen as a talent limited to a select few. However, creativity at its core is the act of creating something — whether that’s generating fresh ideas, reshaping perceptions or fostering a need for change and action. Creativity is not about crafting perfect concepts from the first go but rather embracing an iterative journey.

Businesses thrive when teams dare to explore, collaborate, and put ideas into practice. To strike the right balance between creativity and productivity, teams can utilise tools that empower them to collaborate and brainstorm asynchronously, and align quicker, no matter the geographical location. 

As the world of hybrid work evolves, the emphasis on collaboration and communication has never been more important. With countless messaging tools and video conference capabilities — which were already widely used pre-pandemic — it’s important to prioritise the solutions that help teams to embrace digital-first collaboration. Within Lucid, using virtual whiteboards in our team meetings has been a key driver in keeping the team aligned with clear agendas and expectations. This creates structure and understanding that is accessible for all team members to routinely refer back to as projects progress. 

Importantly, this approach helps to drive better outcomes. As teams come together to collaborate in this way, it makes it easier for the best ideas to be surfaced, decisions to be made more effectively, and execution of projects to run more smoothly as teams have full context on the rationale behind decisions. 

What’s your take on how the return to office affects employees’ well-being? How do you ensure your team at Lucid maintains a healthy work-life balance?

In recent years we’ve seen a significant shift in priorities of the Australian workforce, with wellbeing now ranked equally alongside remuneration in job searches. With new priorities and national policy changes, including the recent Fair Work Amendment bill, there is an expectation that business leaders prioritise the mental wellbeing of their teams. 

Business leaders who are championing a return to office must holistically assess our new working environment to determine the effect this will have on employee wellbeing and retention. Lessons learned during the pandemic demonstrated that teams can work efficiently and effectively from anywhere in the world, as long as they have the right tech stack that promotes and facilitates collaboration. Many workers changed their lifestyles drastically during the remote and hybrid work boom so it is important for leaders to be mindful of this and meet employees where they feel most supported. 

At Lucid, we know that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential both for business success and employee wellbeing. One of the most underrated factors in driving a healthy balance is transparency. By planning effectively together in a visual and transparent way, teams and leadership can better balance different work loads, ensuring that people aren’t over capacity. 

How do Lucid Software’s collaboration tools help users manage their work and personal lives more effectively — whether they’re in the office or working from home?

Lucid’s visual collaboration solutions allow for teams to have visibility over projects and how they are progressing towards goals and timelines. This visibility means everyone is able to contribute and move projects forward faster than if single documents need to be approved and shared via email or other channels.

Improved alignment across teams leads to faster innovation and more successful business outcomes. In fact, research shows 47% of workers have experienced failed projects as a result of misalignment, and 46% of workers have felt annoyed or frustrated because of it.

This streamlining of initiatives can save users significant amounts of time, freeing them up to focus on timely tasks. In terms of employees’ personal lives, this time-saving through collaboration means they can prioritise time with family, catch up with friends, or run errands. 

Over your 20 years in marketing, how have you seen technology change the way we work and collaborate? What are the most significant changes for the average consumer?

Over my career I’ve witnessed unprecedented change from technology that’s filtered down into the ways we work. From the dot-com boom to the incredible pace of change brought about by AI today, technology is always impacting how we communicate and collaborate.

For many industries, AI has taken out the guesswork by extracting insights from huge data pools facilitating hyper-targeted strategies. People will always be the primary ‘thinkers’ when it comes to collaborating and problem-solving. However, when used correctly, AI kickstarts the ideation process, complements our strategies and saves time by suggesting streamlined ways of working. 

This time-saving potential is mirrored in our Lucid visual collaboration offering, with our technology posing significant changes to the average consumer when it comes to work-life balance. Utilising visual collaboration software in the way we work can free up time spent on menial tasks and allows people to prioritise life beyond work — whether that’s spending time with family, exercising, or focusing on hobbies. 

For those adapting to hybrid work, what advice would you give to stay productive and connected? How do Lucid’s tools play a role in this?

When adapting to hybrid work, it’s important for business leaders to prioritise their employees by supporting their work styles and needs in the virtual and in-person workplace. This can be through providing a strong tech stack and encouraging effective collaboration and curiosity to ensure teams feel connected and productive. 

From an employee perspective, it’s important to make room for personal connection with colleagues. One of the benefits of in-person work is serendipitous conversation — often called “hallway conversations”. In hybrid environments, we don’t bump into each other as often, placing an onus on individuals to find time to have less-structured conversations with teammates that might lead to insights that are otherwise easy to miss. 

How have Lucid Software’s tools been a game-changer in making remote work more accessible and efficient for the general public? What’s the key to their effectiveness in a varied work environment?

In today’s work environment, flexibility rules, and employees appreciate companies that welcome different collaboration styles. Now that many businesses have transitioned to hybrid work setups for at least part of their week, there is a need to accommodate different ways of working.

Hybrid work has made it necessary for organisations to adopt solutions that encourage digital-first collaboration, like virtual whiteboards, instant messaging tools, or cloud-based diagramming solutions — and some workers have thrived as a result.

For example, using tools like a virtual whiteboard allows people to prepare ahead of brainstorming sessions and caters to all work styles by giving participants a chance to voice their share of ideas. Teams are also increasingly global and operating across various timezones, and implementing agile work practices will allow for them to thrive. 

Similarly, regularity of meetings has increased with hybrid work as businesses try to keep teams connected and up-to-date on projects. However, Zoom fatigue is real and many businesses have learned that there are better ways for making working from anywhere more accessible and efficient. Turning to other digital solutions where teams can get feedback and give status updates has the ability to streamline asynchronous collaboration by saving time on meetings. 

Visual collaboration platforms like Lucid gives the whole team a space to share ideas and give context for everyone — regardless of whether they’re at home or in the office — to see and understand.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.