Before March 2020, it was difficult to imagine a workspace that included kids, pets, and piles of laundry. But many workplaces across the globe transformed that month, and the changes don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. By 2025, it’s estimated that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.
While many managers have enjoyed the flexibility that remote workspaces bring, the transition hasn’t been without its fair share of challenges. Companies have had to reimagine in-office processes for remote workforces and become more intentional about communicating and maintaining cohesive workflows across teams. Building a solid plan to manage your remote marketing team can be the difference between struggling or succeeding together.
Two of the largest obstacles working that come hand in hand with remotely include the physical distance and lack of face time. When your entire team was under one roof, it was relatively easy to connect and collaborate. You could schedule meetings in the conference room, host brainstorming sessions face-to-face, and casually connect in the breakroom over lunch. Today, we don’t have this luxury. Connecting and collaborating is a far greater challenge than ever before – and working with a team that is physically distante has led to several challenges for team managers, including:
To address these challenges, team managers have had to pivot to improve connection in a remote world.. From implementing digital asset management tools to putting team-building activities on the schedule, here are three ways you can effectively take the lead in a remote work setting.
With your team scattered in different locations, communication is the key to keeping everyone on the same page. Scheduled check-ins not only ensure each member of your team is working toward individual and common goals efficiently, but they also enable you to define deadlines and due dates. With clear timelines in place as well as scheduled meeting time for your team to touch base with you, minor challenges can be addressed before they become major issues.
To establish good interpersonal communication with team members, start by determining which platforms will offer the most effective communication method. Remember, there can be multiple outlets for communication based on the circumstances. For example, you can use a platform for virtual meetings, another for project management, and one for informal communication via a chat platform. In the end, there are multiple outlets you can have as a manager to connect with your team. Once the intended platforms are selected, be sure to set standards on how each one is to be used.
Implement a regular meeting schedule that works for everyone. Do morning meetings work well or do end of day recaps work better? Determine what works best for your team based on the length of projects, monthly goals, etc. While regular meetings help to keep everyone on the same page, it’s important that these are scheduled at a cadence that help to keep these meetings productive and action oriented.
When establishing meeting times, ensure that you are allowing for your team members to work asynchronously. You want to be sure you are not distracting team members when they’re most productive during the day. So, before setting meeting cadence and schedules, be sure to have the team block off times that they find themselves most productive. Also, make sure your team feels relaxed during virtual meetings. It can be hard to find a quiet room when working from home. Make sure team members feel comfortable enough to tell you that there may be kids playing in the background or the dog may bark occasionally. Having your team partake in overcommunication is better so that everyone will know what’s going on and what to expect.
One of the biggest challenges to managing a remote workforce is maintaining some semblance of company culture. Finding ways to casually connect can help build rapport with colleagues and cultivate a sense of community where each person feels included and valued. These activities help prevent any member of your virtual marketing team from feeling the negative effects of isolation that too often accompany a remote work environment. Team-building activities for remote workforces may include:
With the right tools at your fingertips, you can figure out how to manage your team remotely and set your company up for success. Reach out to learn more about how MarcomCentral can make your workload more efficient today.