A new research guide is proposing that creative professionals will have a lot more influence on their companies' business decisions in the future- but they’ll be working a lot more as a result.

The Creative Team of the Future explores key trends shaping the marketing and design fields, and how industry professionals can prepare for and capitalise on upcoming changes.

The guide is part of a new research project, which also includes video interviews with leading creative thinkers, that was co-developed by The Creative Group and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). For the project, The Creative Group and the AAF surveyed more than 500 AAF Ad Club and corporate members in the US, interviewed industry thought leaders and conducted exclusive research to assess how marketing and design teams may operate in the next three to five years.

The guide is available at www.creativegroup.com/creativeteamfuture.

Guidebook cover

Among the key findings are that one-third of survey respondents cited problem-solving skills as the most useful trait for creative professionals to develop. More than six in 10 respondents (62 percent) said they expect creative professionals to work more hours over the next several years. In addition, an overwhelming 85 percent said they anticipate being more connected to the office outside of business hours by 2016.

As collaboration tools become more accessible and affordable for creative teams, employers may offer their staff the ability to telecommute more frequently during the working week. In fact, 84 percent of respondents said a greater number of creative professionals would work remotely in the next three to five years.

In today's global marketplace, collaboration often means working with people in different countries and marketing to a multicultural audience. But the colleagues sitting next to you will likely become more varied, too: Eighty-two percent of respondents said they expect creative teams to become more culturally diverse.

Two-thirds of survey respondents said spending on mobile-related projects would increase significantly in the next three to five years; another 28 percent said it would increase somewhat. Further, 34 percent of AAF Ad Club and corporate members said mobile will be the most influential advertising medium over the same period.

The guide claims that designers and marketing professionals are holding more sway in their organisations as companies recognise they can do more than develop eye-pleasing designs and catchy ad campaigns. The ability to think outside the box and pitch ideas effectively will become essential for creative professionals in the near future.

"Organisations are increasingly turning to their marketing and creative teams for help generating ideas and solutions that solve business problems, improve customer service and, ultimately, grow the bottom line," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "Being flexible is key to surviving and thriving in the creative industry of the future. Professionals with an open mindset - who are willing to embrace new tools, consumer trends and work processes - will be in the best position to move their careers and businesses forward."

Visit www.creativegroup.com/creativeteamfuture to download a complimentary copy of The Creative Team of the Future, watch video interviews or find more information about the research project,