Traction in the Cloud!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Traction was featured today as the lead story on the home page of after we announced that we are moving to a 100% remote workforce.

In the spirit of San Francisco, we are in the cloud.

If you have an Ad Age account, you can read the article here . For those of you who don't, we've pasted the story below!

traction goes remote

Traction shutters its San Francisco office and plans to work remotely indefinitely

San Francisco-based creative agency Traction is closing down its office and shifting to working remotely permanently, says co-founder and CEO Adam Kleinberg. The company broke its lease last week because "we decided we just don't need it," Kleinberg says. In the wake of working from home amid the the coronavirus pandemic, Kleinberg found "we didn't miss a beat." Even once the country reopens, Kleinberg doesn't foresee a need to host in-person meetings with staffers. "We have adopted a lot of behaviors that have eliminated the need for face-to-face," he says. One such tool is Miro, a virtual whiteboard that allows Traction staff to collaborate and brainstorm in real time.

This is yet another example of how COVID-19 is poised to reshape how the ad world conducts business. For more-seasoned employees who have already learned the ins-and-outs of office life, the change of pace may be welcomed. Going remote could open up opportunities for new moms, for example, who in the past had to take extended maternity leave or choose between focusing on their child or continuing to work. "The new model supports them in a much deeper way," Kleinberg says.

But for those new to the workforce or at an early point in their careers, remote working could create feelings of disconnect. And for some employees who live in small studio apartments or with roommates, this new work structure may not be ideal. Kleinberg says once stay-at-home orders have been lifted, Traction will problem-solve with employees who may have different needs or living situations to make the arrangement work for them.

Traction's decision to eliminate a physical workspace coincides with the company's move before the pandemic away from a typical agency model to more of a consultancy, Kleinberg says. As more brands build in-house creative resources, Traction has found success in consulting brands on how to build experiences with a roster of subject-matter experts.

It also aligns with the trend of people in the ad industry leaving urban centers amid COVID-19 to escape to places with more space or to family homes. Kleinberg says he had one employee who approached him to say that they were thinking of leaving San Francisco. Kleinberg says that by working remotely Traction can support such moves, and "if you move out of state, it doesn't really matter."
traction team 21018
Traction team 2009

While we are incredibly excited about our path forward, this decision is bittersweet. For 15 years, Traction has had our headquarters at 1349 Larkin Street in San Francisco and our expanded "T2" office around the corner on Pine Street. So many amazing members of our team have enjoyed that incredible space with our catwalks and our spiral staircases and our giant indoor trees over the years—if you're one of them reading this, know it breaks my heart that we can't have a good ole' Irish wake to celebrate the special role those offices have had as the backdrop of our merry circus.

COVID can take our bon voyage party away (for now), but it can't take our memories. So, in honor of every denizen of T1 and T2 over the past decade and a half, think of these and smile...

  • BBQ Smackdowns!
  • The Polk Gulch tagline contest (the winner: "Polk Gulch Dont look down. Keep walking!"
  • Unhappy Grouchmas!
  • Drums in the crow's nest!
  • Cracktion destroys Battle of the Bands forever!
  • Election Day prep sessions!
  • DeNiro!
  • Sidney's laugh in the lobby!
  • The Institute of Practical Underpants!
  • Greg Kalifornia singing Brandi on the spiral stairs!
  • Sapanese Chef!
  • The panty mimes!
  • The infamous "booth!"
  • Battle Decks!!
  • Bloody Mary mornings!
  • The Learn Phase!
  • Zombie Pete's!
  • Beer Science!
  • The Itchbot!
  • Melanie and Kellie, the ulimate party planning committee!
  • Birthday bagels!
  • Is that what I think it is on the skylight?
  • Sometimes, you gotta take one for the team, officer!
  • Jon and Theo are on Google Earth!
  • LeSteak!
  • Wait, you guys got married? Did anyone know you were dating?
  • Hurley Burley!
  • Superbowl parties at the T2 bar!
  • T3!
  • Tack's security directives!
  • Video games at 3am!
  • DisTractions!
  • The Crap-o-Matic! (episodes 1-6)
  • Michele
  • Mama Pacho
  • (we love you both and miss you terribly)
  • Greg singing!
  • Nick's Crispy Tacos (before the health department thing!)
  • Team Grant!
  • Days of Action!
  • Death to the Pen! Long live the pen!
  • Isabel walking into the glass door in the Apple pitch (I'm still sorry, Is!)
  • Chief Barketing Office, Otto Von Bismark!
  • Little baby Bear!

I know I'm forgetting tons. To each and every one of you who has been and continues to be part of the Traction family, thank you for making this such a hot shop!

Just a month or so back we celebrated nineteen years since we started Traction in the spare bedroom of my apartment. Next year, we will celebrate twenty. I promise we will have an absolute blowout. I'll see you all then.

traction team grant
About the author
Adam Kleinberg

Adam Kleinberg is CEO and founding partner of Traction. He has written over 75 articles in publications like to AdAge, Adweek, Fast Company, Forbes, Mashable and Digiday.

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