How to Manage a Remote Digital Marketing Team?
Home is the New Office
As countries across the world have resorted to social distancing as a means of containing and preventing the spread of coronavirus, remote work or work-from-home is the new norm. Many companies are unprepared, unequipped, and struggling to cope with this sudden turn of events. On the other hand, some companies are noticing and adapting to how remote work could offer unseen and unexplored opportunities.
What are the Challenges?
Drop-in productivity because of being unsupervised, lack of coordination, communication issues, time zone issues, too many distractions at home, lack of professional discipline, decreased employee visibility, lack of personal connect and team spirit, etc.
How to Make Work-From-Home Work!!!
What steps companies/managers should take to inspire collaboration and productivity?
Clear Process and Documentation: Have a plan and a process. If you do not have one, please chalk out a plan and change for the better. No work can be accomplished without a solid workflow process in place. List out all that your digital marketing team has to do. Clearly assign tasks, task ownership, timelines, deadlines, quality metrics, weekly or daily reporting structures. Review and refine the process if there are any glitches. Communication is the key, just communicate….
Communicate: Start with the basics, how is your team communicating with each other? There is a wide choice of tools; Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Talk, Google Hangout, for that matter see if WhatsApp group is a viable choice. Choose the one that works for you after considering financial, practical, data, and security aspects.
Project Management: Once you have decided on which communication tool to use, the next step is to decide on how to track and monitor your team’s work. When a project manager just can’t walk over to someone’s desk to seek an update, he must have a digital version that could do the same. Again, there are a lot of choices; Asana, Trello, Monday, Basecamp, and many more. Explore each one of these; these apps not only allow teams to create workflows and monitor projects but also seamlessly integrate with other apps. Choose the one that works best for you.
Motivating Teams and Improving Productivity: Now that the process, communication channels, and the project management tools are off your checklist, the next focus is the soft skills. Specifically, in a remote work setting, it is important to keep your team spirit high and make them feel connected. Informal things like having the team members give a little tour of where they’re working from or having a group chat just for having fun and non-work discussions might be a great idea. For team members who aren’t used to working remotely, working from home might feel intimidating and lonely. It’s important for managers to be empathetic and bring a personal touch to make it easy for everyone in the team to be on the same page.
Network Safety and Security: In a regular office setting, ensuring network and data security is easier. When teams are working from home or remotely working, sometimes even using free wi-fi connections from cafes, motels, hotels, home networks, etc., network security becomes very important and measures such as two-factor authentication, antivirus, credential verification, etc. have to be implemented. Again, there are a wide variety of tools such as OneLogin, Okta, Centrify, Microsoft, Salesforce, SailPoint, Ping Identity, etc. Choose that works for you.
What does Remote Work / Work-From-Home Mean for Employees; A Survey!
- 91% of remote workers felt they are more efficient working from home.
- 95% of remote workers said they would recommend remote work to their friends.
Here is Why
The flexibility, the lack of commute, reduction of distractions because of unproductive and unfocussed meetings, flexibility to work from anywhere, increased productivity, and of course, the ability to be closer to one’s loved ones.
What does Remote Work / Work-From-Home Mean for Companies?
TCS – Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT company uses something called Secure Borderless WorkSpaces (an in-house platform). TCS will ask 75%, or 4.5 lakh of its global workforce (including 3.5 lakh in India), to work from home permanently by 2025. The management believes they don’t need more than 25 percent of the workforce in office in order to be 100 percent productive.
For the companies in general, it obviously means a lot less real estate space will be required due to the virtualization of the workforce, and businesses become more resilient, agile, and robust. Simply put, improved bottom-line growth.
Conclusively, both companies and remote employees have to be agile and embrace the changes and challenges that this pandemic has brought about. This is one great opportunity to be at your best!!!!
Image Credit: Pexels
Writer: Santosh Bengre