Between 2005 and 2019 there was a 159 percent increase in remote work. As the internet has come to dominate such a large percentage of our daily lives, it has also begun to change how companies and employees interact and complete their work. It allows remote-friendly companies to seek out the best employee for the job, rather than limiting themselves to those who live within commuting distance of their building.
Marketing and SEO teams have also found themselves increasingly trying to learn how to create, run, and optimize campaigns with members working from home.
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all companies around the world have found themselves supporting teams working remotely. While it was a new and almost immediate transition for everyone, there may not have been a whole lot of time to prepare for the unique situation. In order to keep your business running smoothly, you need to strive to keep your team connected, implement deadlines, and use a platform that offers employees common data.
Understanding how to manage and function as a virtual team can help you work more effectively with the other members of your group, regardless of whether you are all stationed in the same city or have hundreds of miles dividing you.
Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies and techniques that these groups can use to keep marketing campaigns on track and moving forward as they adjust to this trending work model. Here are our suggestions to help our digital community thrive.
Schedule regular meetings to check-in
The easy way out is to assign tasks and wait for submissions. However, a strong team knows how to function as an entity, not just as individuals completing a checklist. Working efficiently together, even with a small or sizable team, should not change just because team members are at home.
Set up a calendar of regular meetings to keep everyone on the same page. Setting meetings will allow everyone to collaborate more easily on their projects and understand how the various pieces come together. Encouraging people to speak as a group as they work will promote collaboration.
Utilize the full value of a platform that empowers collaboration
A variety of platforms offer help to teams who work remotely or separately. For your SEO team, BrightEdge StoryBuilder enhances collaboration, making it easy for each team member to do their job well, regardless of where they work.
By using the BrightEdge platform, you can ensure that all your team members have access to common data to enhance their SEO strategy. You can also create common dashboards to bring together KPIs and other information that you want to have readily available for team members.
As you work on your SEO strategies to progress towards your SEO goals, the platform will also help you assign tasks and track work that employees have completed.
Other platforms can help you collaborate on documents, share files, and track your progress on different parts of projects. With everyone working in different locations, consider how these platforms will help you feel as though everyone is still working collaboratively.
Offer opportunities for team members to get to know one another
With people working in remote locations, you may find it challenging to create engagement amongst team members. Meetings shouldn't be spent just working on agendas but also, getting to know one another.
In-office employees have the opportunity to socialize during lunch or a coffee break. When employees work remotely, this dynamic will change and can make everyone feel more disconnected.
Small changes, however, can help to build the connection between remote employees. Encouraging individuals to turn on their video feeds during online meetings will create connections. Seeing body language, emotions, and the motivation in a voice will build on this idea. Similarly, the host of each meeting allowing for two to three minutes at the start for small talk or catching up can ensure engagement rates go up at the start of the meeting.
If the opportunity presents itself, scheduling occasional in-person meetings, whether coffee or lunch, can also encourage relationship building outside of work.
Set up guidelines for team member communication and deadlines
Though some or all of your team is works remotely, you need to ensure that projects continue to move forward. It can be easy for people in other locations to get distracted by the world happening around them.
For example, during the impromptu teleworking and COVID-19 quarantine that became global in March 2020, many people may have found themselves balancing work and life at the same time without preparation. This can easily increase stress levels and impact workflow. While many companies with remote teams can offer a degree of flexibility, setting clear expectations for your employees will play a valuable role.
For example, you might want to establish guidelines regarding response rates for emails or set a few core hours that everyone should be logged in for work. If your employees are in different time zones, work to find a few hours in the day that works for all parties to provide updates, ask questions, express frustrations, etc. Determine the guidelines that work best for your organization based on your expectations.
Establish common metrics for success
Finally, to help ensure efficiency in your team, make sure that you have common metrics that can help you measure the success for everyone in your group. Concrete deadlines, project expectations, and KPIs to help you measure how well the marketing campaigns you produce perform will help you continue to engage your customers as you did before.
Creating common metrics can also help you communicate better with your team. You will be able to clearly articulate your progress and what the other members of the team have completed.
Working remotely with a team provides each person with an increased amount of flexibility, but it also requires team members to make additional efforts to stay connected, especially the team lead. Those who want to keep their teams moving forward and continue to thrive should consider carefully how they can put these ideas to use to build a stronger remote team.
If you regularly staff contractors or you've been forced to surrender to an impromptu quarantine, managing remote employees is a whole different ball game than staffing in-house. Your managing style, communication, and scheduling may all need to change to make it work. To get a solid start, work with your team on the tips above and keep up constant communication.