The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many organizations and teams switching to remote working to curtail the spread of the virus. While some vocations are well-suited to remote work, others not so much. A recent survey by Econsultancy and Marketing Week found that marketers are the most concerned about the impact of remote working on collaboration and teamwork.
While the vast majority (85% in North America and 94% in the UK) of the 2,200 marketers surveyed agreed it is important or critical to adapt to the current health crisis by shifting to remote working, 67% of North American marketers and 71% of their UK peers said their creative collaboration suffers when workers don’t share a space. When it comes to the most significant challenges they face when working from home, more than half of marketers (52% in North America and the UK) find attending productive meetings challenging, while 81% of North American and 82% of UK marketers said that in-person collaboration is “always going to be superior” to virtual meetings.
While marketers are clearly concerned about remote working, there are a number of strategies for ensuring successful functioning of a remote marketing team.
Keep the Company Vision Front and Center:
Even in normal conditions, concerns abound about remote workers getting distracted from the end goal. That possibility has been enhanced by the constant presence of kids and spouses and the near-ending barrage of heart-breaking – and scary – news. Ensure your remote marketing team doesn’t lose sight of the goal by consistently communicating the company vision. Document the vision, goals (both short-term and long-term), and objectives and share it with your remote marketing team.
Now, more than ever, work-life balance is crucial. With kids unexpectedly out of school or daycare, members of your marketing team might find themselves pulled in multiple directions. Trust your team to get work done when it best suits their current lifestyle. They’re likely not working a standard 9-to-5 right now, but as long as the output is good and on-time, does it really matter if they are doing Karaoke with the kids at 10 am and completing an important project at 2 am for an Noon deadline?
Rely on Technology:
The growing remote work movement has resulted in a wealth of helpful software, apps, and communication tools that have become indispensable in these unprecedented times. They include:
- Proofhub — project management software to ensure all members of the team are on the same page and that work gets delivered as planned
- Slack – a communication hub that allows remote teams to bring all their messaging, tools, and files into one central place
- Zoho Docs – an online file and document management tool that lets teams store, share, and sync files across multiple devices
- Planable – a shared space for centralizing all social media content management and eliminating time-consuming review and approval hassles
- Hubstaff – time-tracking software that allows managers to monitor the team, projects, and deadlines as they progress, with optional screenshots and the ability to make improvements as needed
In the workplace, giving feedback and praise comes naturally for most managers. When working remotely, however, it’s easy to let this critical component go by the wayside. Don’t just assume team members know they are doing a great job. Set aside time to recognize their successes. Express your appreciation and highlight their excellent work, so others can follow their example.