Remote working is growing more popular by the day. This arrangement not only allows businesses to access a broader talent pool beyond local availability but also benefits employees who appreciate a more flexible work schedule.
Marketing is a business aspect that can greatly benefit from employing a remote work policy. The team doesn’t need to be present in the same room to deliver exceptional results. You can bring on experienced professionals from across the globe and skyrocket your marketing success.
However, there’s more to maintaining a productive remote marketing team than giving your employees a laptop and letting them leave the office.
From coordinating calls that work across different time zones, to ensuring that everyone knows what they should be doing and when various points need to be considered, bridging the distance requires a lot of effort and planning.
Now that around 57% of people say that they work from home 100% of the time, it’s more important than ever to get the following best practices in place.
#1 Create a Policy for Remote Work
First, you need a policy that guides your employees through what you expect from them as remote workers. If you want your virtual marketing team to thrive, you need to show them what a successful day looks like. Outline:
- When employees must be online for mandatory meetings
- Who your team members should go to if they have questions about a project
- How many hours your team members should be logging each day
- What kind of tools you expect your team members to use
- How your employees can stay safe and protected online
The unique nuances of your remote working policy will differ according to the needs of your team. For instance, if you have a lot of employees working in different time zones, you might add a note to your policy that asks for a monthly meeting at a time that suits everyone.
When delegating tasks to your remote marketing team, keep in mind that their availability needs to be aligned with the deadlines for when projects need to be delivered. Having your employees adhere to the guidelines you set will make task allocation easier and ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines.
#2 Support Regular Communication
Communication is essential for any business. It’s how you ensure that all of your employees are on the same page and working towards shared goals. However, when you have remote employees, maintaining successful communication standards can be difficult.
Running a successful marketing campaign depends on the input of several team members - from research, copy, and design, to tracking the success of the campaign. Therefore, it’s important to avoid a closed system where employees don’t know what the rest of the team is doing.
Your team needs to communicate regularly and openly to ensure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit the bigger picture. Start by providing employees with the right technology for communication. This could mean signing people up for collaboration tools that offer instant messaging, video conferencing, and audio calls.
Once you’ve got the right tools in place, provide your teams with guidelines on how to use their communication options successfully. For instance, if an employee just needs to check up on a deadline, a short text message will suffice. Alternatively, if a discussion is crucial to take a project to the next stage of completion, a group call might be essential.
Don’t forget that communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be just business-focused. It’s also worth giving your employees a “water cooler” environment, where they can discuss ideas and bond.
#3 Focus on Hiring and Training the Right People
If you’re working on building a comprehensive remote marketing team for your business, then there will come a time when you decide to bring new talent into the workforce. A good thing to remember here is that the success of a remote working strategy often begins with who you hire.
It’s essential to focus on finding people who are comfortable in a remote work setting. These individuals need to be self-motivated and capable of ignoring the common distractions in the work-from-home environment.
Working on a marketing team also requires quick decision-making and problem-solving skills. These will be even more accentuated when your employees are working alone from different locations.
Whether you’re employing new team members or allowing existing employees to go remote, you should also have a training and onboarding system in place. You could record a webinar on the tech that your team will be using, share some cybersecurity tips, or create a presentation on some tried and tested practices for staying productive.
#4 Support Team Members
Adjusting to remote work requires more effort than many people realize.
For employees that have been in an office for most of their lives, it can be exceedingly challenging to switch to a new way of working. Some employees find that it’s difficult to shut off from the office when they don’t have an official start and finish time each day.
With that in mind, it’s important to help your employees find the right work-life balance. Encouraging them to clock out at the same time every day and prevent other employees from messaging individuals who are away from their desk if you can.
Most messaging tools allow employees to set their status to “away” or “offline”. Encourage your team to use these settings when they don’t want to be disturbed, e.g. during creative work that requires concentration, or calls with the client.
Another way to support your team members is to ask them to reach out to you if they’re having any issues. Some employees can end up feeling overwhelmed and isolated when they’re in a remote workforce. When this happens, it’s easy for employees to lose touch with your business and its values.
This can be detrimental to the outcome of your marketing projects. You don’t want to have an employee admit that they have a problem when the project is already well underway.
#5 Build the Right Tech Stack
If you want your remote marketing team to thrive, you need to ensure that you have the right technology. This doesn’t just mean giving employees access to collaboration tools and video conferencing. You might also need task allocation services to ensure that the right team members know exactly which projects they’re working on.
It’s also important to properly track the time that your employees are spending on a project so you can figure out how many hours your employees are working and provide them with the right payment for their efforts. This is particularly helpful if you have freelancers on your team without a set number of hours to work each week.
From project management tools that ensure that the right tasks are finished according to deadlines, to VPNs that protect your remote workers’ safety, the right tech is essential.
Support Your Remote Marketing Team
A remote marketing team can be a powerful addition to your business talent. With a remote policy in place, you can access the right candidates from all over the world, and even unlock new levels of creativity.
Just remember that to get the most out of your remote marketing employees, you need to have the right solutions in place.
Follow the steps above to ensure that you have everything it takes to empower your remote marketing employees. Additionally, remember to keep track of the success of your remote policies, so you can optimize and improve as you go.