As people everywhere do their best to navigate the necessity of working remotely, the New York offices of Havas has built up a series of programming to help keep creatives—and anyone else who’d like to join in—growing mentally and spiritually.
Recently made widely available, Havas New York’s Creative Consciousness initiative is an evolution of programming the agency has been rolling out over the past two years. The series attempts to address what Havas New York CCO Harry Bernstein and CEO Laura Maness viewed as an industry-wide issue of agencies chasing growth at the expense of talent, contributing to low morale, lagging productivity and a high turnover rate.
In a statement, Bernstein said he’s been on a mission to evolve advertising for the entirety of his career.
“Three years ago, when taking on the role of chief creative officer at Havas with CEO Laura Maness, we created our Creative Consciousness program, focusing on evolving from a creative agency to a creative community to combat the toxicity in our industry and corporate culture at large,” he said. “Now that the world is faced with evolving how they work from home in the new normal, I’m proud to open this program up on Instagram Live and Zoom to grow our community and hopefully help the world.”
“Through this growth culture and emphasis on our people, we’ve created a real sense of belonging and thereby flipped the future of work conversation on its head. While we have always been supporters of flexibility and work-life integration, our employees actually look forward to spending time at our offices to be part of our collective energy and journey of raising consciousness,” Maness added.
On Instagram Live @havasnyc, you’ll find meditation classes every Monday from 4-5 p.m. and Kundalini yoga classes every Tuesday from 3-4 p.m. Over the course of the next month, the agency is introducing programming around the pillars of cultivating wellness, inspiration and giving back to communities.
The virtual programming kicked off last week with Kundalini yoga with HariPraakash and a virtual discussion with author Janice Kaplan about her new book, The Genius of Women, in honor of Women’s History Month.
In addition to the aforementioned weekly meditation and yoga sessions, other programs will include Playtime From Home on Wednesday, an offering for employees working at home with children that will include an interactive art class with Texas-based artist Cynthia Thompson, and later in April a look at Life at Bhumi Farms with stock trader turned Farmer Frank examining the intersectionality of farming and health.
Other upcoming programs include a creative writing workshop taught by Havas New York copywriter Christian Ianniello and an interactive cooking workshop.
“Now that our circumstances have changed, with all of us WFH, we wanted to maintain our cadence and scale our creative community by inviting more people to share in our #WFHrituals with the goal of keeping everyone inspired, healthy and connected while flexing their creativity,” Maness said in a statement. “After all, a positive, healthy mindset is core to personal and professional growth, and this experience is an opportunity for all of us to be together and to grow together.”