by Dhari Ganguly
Working from home can be a bane for the extroverts and a boon for the introverts. No commutes to the office, no meeting people, not much talking required. But how has the recent shift towards remote work affected productivity? Digitization has brought our offices to our computers, and recent studies show that employees prove to be more productive when they work at home.
Whether this system is temporary or becomes permanent (as already declared by some top companies), employees, including marketers have proved their skills and trust while working from home.
So how did Marketers arrive at this juncture? What problems have they faced and how can they be overcome?
First there are the challenges. Just as working from home produces its own perks, it can also be challenging at times. Here are the most common challenges facing marketers working remotely:
#1 Challenge, Losing connectivity with colleagues: Working from home can leave you feeling that you’re losing that connection which was fostered during your time in the office. The little chit-chats, brainstorming over a cup of coffee, a catch up at the watercooler. Sometimes it feels like face to face meetings can never be fully replaced by Zoom or Google Meet.
#2 Challenge, Chaotic work schedule: Many of us spend more time “at work” when we’re at home as it’s difficult to replace the physical action of leaving the office. This is especially challenging for workaholics, who find it difficult to take breaks when they’re in a rhythm. This might take a toll on your physical and mental well-being, so we all need to learn when to call it a day.
#3: Challenge, Technical challenges: Shifting your office setup into your home can be more difficult then, it seems. Many people are now working in kitchens or dark corners of living rooms. Try and build an office setup in a location where you can get some natural light and you’re not surrounded by clutter and distractions.
How to gear up that remote collaboration?
#1: Have routine meetings: Have a virtual meeting each morning that takes the form of a stand-up. Take 10-15 minutes before you start your day to nurture team spirit and help plan your day’s work.
#2: Set expectations: Divide the responsibilities among your colleagues. Set tasks and explain why they need to be done, and how you can reach your goals.
#3: Be flexible: Both the employer and marketer should be flexible to understand each other’s needs. Work output may take a different form to what it would look like in the office and work hours may vary too.
#4: Support each other: Nothing beats an intimate chat or ‘clear the air’ meeting when it comes to getting something off your chest. Personal relationships and developing bonds is even more important while working remotely. Make sure meetings don’t become too robotic or formal when you’re depending on technology.
What tools can help marketers boost productivity?
Zoom: For video calls Zoom is the most reliable. It’s easy to schedule, easy to connect, and can be used from both cell phones or laptops/PCs. This platform has made group meetings and group messaging easier than ever.
Slack: For chat and instant messaging, give Slack a go. A lot of communication needs to be written down when not in the same room and Slack keeps every topic organized and categorized. This can save a lot of effort and avoid misinterpretations.
Brightful: Want to take a break from work? Unfortunately, many of us can’t catch up with colleagues over a cuppa, but we can definitely play a game or take part in a practice or two! With Brightful you just need to share the game room, and co-workers can join on any browser (mobile or desktop).
Traditionally, marketers are supposed to be always on-the-go, meeting people, attending events — and now virtual summits — and living the busy life. A recent survey conducted by Screendragon, a leading provider of marketing project management software, has challenged the perception of a marketer. t highlighted that 34% of marketers find collaboration as their biggest challenge when working from home.
What are your tips for staying collaborative and productive at home? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or join our Supporters Program and share thoughts with hundreds of other like minded people in our vibrant Slack community.