Remote work has proven to be more than just a trend – companies have been forced to completely change their attitude towards remote work for decades to come even if they have transitioned back into offices. After all, the only constant in life is change, right?
Strong businesses have adapted to this new normal and since we believe we fall under that category we wanted to share five tips for ensuring your brand teams are able to keep improving their performance (even if you won’t physically be able to celebrate your month-end victories in the office.)
Virtual brand teams offer many advantages, such as reduced operating costs, increased productivity, greater employee retention, and expanded access to top talent. But managing virtual teams can be tough, as remote working comes with unique challenges. It’s more difficult to promote communication, collaboration, and transparency when your marketing team isn’t present in the same room five days a week.
Define your work systems and automate tasks
There are some obvious differences between remote and in-office work, the main one being you are not in physical proximity with your colleagues. While some companies have struggled to maintain productivity with virtual teams, other companies have thrived and even seen an increase in overall output. What has been the differentiating factor? A robust and well-implemented work system.
Your work system should drill into the details, focusing on every aspect of your marketing and brand operations. This includes refining your meeting schedules to be concise, building an effective remote on-boarding process, and implementing remote-work specific rules (such as daily reporting of tasks.) This ensures that you have visibility of your team while they are held accountable without feeling overwhelmed.
More importantly, you should automate tedious tasks now more than ever before. Being in a remote working environment, if employees are assigned mundane tasks they are less likely to complete them efficiently, which is a huge detriment for your business processes since they might be boring but are still necessary.
In order to maximize your creative automation efforts, you should also look into using software made to address your brand teams unique needs.
Adopt software specifically made for brand and design teams
While this tip is aimed towards design and brand teams, the underlying idea holds true for each and every business vertical: invest in function-specific software as much as possible.
If your business utilizes tools that have been created for a particular job role, it will be much more effective than an “all-in-one” tool which doesn’t go the extra mile to address your team members’ needs. Plus, if the tools are truly well made, they will have countless integrations with other function-specific platforms so that you can build your own customized framework to carry out business operations.
Assuming your brand team consists of marketers, designers and developers, here are some specific examples of how you can improve your workflows using design software such as Rocketium:
Instead of manually creating templates from scratch for every project, you can import prebuilt PSD designs, along with uploading rich animations and graphics to a centralized workspace.
Besides this, you can also eliminate the obsolete upload/download process by uploading all your brand assets to a centralized library. This will save valuable time and reduce the monotony of having to locally find and re-use the same asset multiple times.
By generating variants of ad templates in your work, you effectively cut down on creative production time and effort. Using REST API’s, you can extract data directly from your CRM to create personalized videos without requiring any manual intervention. This simplifies your ad creation process, which is useful regardless of whether you are working remotely or in-office.
A unique way you can leverage design software to benefit developers is by enabling them to directly view designs and assets that have been created by front-end designers using role-based access. This makes it simple for developers to view an asset and copy its code into their development project.
Establish how you will communicate across teams
It is important to set up guidelines so that all team members are instantly accessible during work hours, and to ensure this you need a system set up that facilitates the same.
Should you use Zoom over Google Meet? Which plan of Slack will be most cost-effective for your team? Should you use Asana or ClickUp for logging tasks? Is text messaging via WhatsApp or iMessage for work-related communication okay or forbidden? These are all decisions you need to make sooner rather than later so that you can ensure your communication process while working remotely is optimized.
If you can communicate within project workspaces and allow role-based access to certain project functions, it will improve your output even further. Luckily, the right MarTech tool has these features built in, allowing simplified communication across internal teams as well as external parties by streamlining the process of approval and distribution.
The key to optimizing productivity is finding the perfect balance of management. While the idea of being micromanaged is something nobody looks forward to, it is essential to hold your team members accountable for the work they are doing. If this is planned correctly it will also psychologically boost employee morale since they will feel motivated to do their best.
A good idea is to engage in team-building activities towards the end of every week, along with open house sessions to share big wins, address any questions employees may have and improve communication among team members. We practice these activities religiously and can vouch for their effectiveness in improving your team’s output.
Have regular one-on-one meetings
Your team is only as good as its weakest link. You must ensure that everyone on your team is constantly growing and feels confident while working remotely.
It is highly recommended to have a one-on-one meeting with each team member at least once a month to discuss roadblocks, victories, and upcoming goals.
Apart from this, practices such as individualized attention and co-pilot sessions will pay the highest return on investment. Improving your business processes while working remotely requires you to not only tackle your existing business challenges but also overcome the extra dimension of virtually ensuring that your team is healthy and motivated to do their best.
This might sound daunting but believe us, it is very much achievable (and rewarding) if you put in the right effort and follow the tips we have shared.
We hope you found this article informative, and even if your virtual team is already implementing some of these practices, perhaps you learned a new thing or two.