Remote teams enjoy the advantage of a flexible work schedule. With remote work, employers now have a larger pool of talent. They no longer have the restrictions of local availability. Extraneous costs, such as office maintenance, can be put into other company ventures. However, remote work has its own challenges you need to navigate.
Remote work is more than a person having a laptop and working from home. Conducting calls across time zones, creating adjustments for sick leaves, and assigning tasks based on individual strengths requires tact, skills, and collaboration. One of the teams who is most impacted is marketing. Marketing teams should follow some best practices for successful remote work.
Best practices for your remote marketing teams
Here are seven best practices for remote marketing teams to promote productivity, communication, and collaboration.
1. Outline policies and regimens
In a study recently posited by Zug, a Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG found that 70% of professionals work remotely. It may even higher now with the global pandemic forcing many people to work from home. This means that your team’s output heavily depends on the pattern of their availability in a remote work envrionment.
Taking this into consideration, you need a policy that guides your employees through what is expected of them as remote workers. For your virtual marketing team to thrive against all odds, you need to present them with a blueprint of what a good workday entails. Curate a list that shows when employees should be online for compulsory meetings. In the event of an impromptu meeting, create ways of getting the message across to everyone.
This list should also include names of supervisors whom your team members should go to if they have questions about a project. This helps to prevent work overload on the management/team head. Outline how many hours your team members should be logging each day and create new challenges with incentives. State clearly the kind of tools you expect your team members to use to ensure uniformity of their outputs. Educate them on the importance of cybersecurity.
Each remote team is unique. Therefore, you should create a flexible remote working policy, tailored to your team. For example, if you have a global list of employees working in different time zones, you might add a blank space to your policy that asks for a monthly meeting at a time that works to accommodate everyone.
2. Organize a platform for regular communication
Communication is at the forefront of necessities for any business. It’s how you ensure that all of your team members are included on the same page and working towards a common goal. However, when you have remote employees, maintaining optimum communication lines can prove strenuous.
Carrying out a successful marketing campaign depends on the contribution of a number of team members – from research, copy, and design, to documenting the success of the campaign. Therefore, it’s imperative to avoid a rigid and closed system where particular employees are ignorant of what the rest of the team is doing.
The team members need to communicate regularly and transparently. This makes sure everything falls in place with minimal human errors. For instance, design marketing teams may need to jointly deliberate on some usability testing questions to ensure that they create a flawless design.
Start by equipping employees with the right tech tools to boost effective communication. This could translate to signing them up for collaboration tools that provide instant messaging, live video conferencing for unlimited numbers, and audio calls.
3. Maintain a healthy work environment psychology
Research shows psychological safety in the workplace is a key aspect of collaboration. That is, the more safe a team feels, the more likely they are to collaborate and connect effectively. This is particularly true as it is essential for remote marketing teams.
In a virtual work environment where face-to-face interactions are a rarity, and text-based communications like instant messaging can often be misread, therefore, establishing a sense of safety is important. This ensures that employees feel free to speak up on issues that bother them, ask for clarifications, and present other options that differ from the conventional approach.
You should aim to cultivate a culture where you reward positive attitudes. These attributes can be taking risks, making mistakes, speaking one’s mind, stating grievances, working together on ideas, and giving constructive criticism.
Furthermore, remote marketing teams must feel they can do this without feeling performative, silenced, judged, ashamed, or at risk of suddenly losing their jobs, just as in physical work environments. This does not mean you need to create a docile environment where employees can say and do what they like without consequences since everyone is behind the veneer of a keyboard. In fact, making space for conflict is healthy.
4. Cultivate trust in your employees
Remote work changes a lot of things. You have to learn to trust your team members because you won’t be physically hovering over them to inspect their works. Trust your delegation, and present them with a chance to innovate. This can be done in a way without you having to give up your authority.
Everyone should be involved in the decision-making process. Retain the end decision-making power to yourself. Ensure that you listen to each remote employee’s suggestion and views with a clear mind free of prejudice or bias, and with a lot of attentiveness.
Make room for creativity and innovation, while allowing them to accept accountability for the results of their actions. In other words, create backup plans whilst giving free rein to the team members to carry out tasks independently.
5. Make your guidelines and company vision clear
Outlining the company’s vision enables the members of your marketing team to focus on the end goal without distractions. It also eliminates unhealthy work completion where individuals work without collaboration. Consistently remind them what they’re aiming for and why so that it begins to look achievable. You can do that by;
Documenting the vision. You can create a private wiki page that can be accessed only by members of your team. This page would document and organize the team’s knowledge and information, short and long term goals, and allows for real-time edits. This ensures everyone, including newcomers, knows what the company is about. They can also find out what has been done, and adjustments that need to be made for further improvement. The importance of collaboration can never be overemphasized.
6. Ensure the team understands new cyber laws and requirements
Remote work means that your marketing team would be patronizing consumers digitally more than ever before. Therefore, it is important that they understand boundaries and laid out governmental policies. Breaching these rules albeit unknowingly, could squarely land a lawsuit against your company.
Marketers regularly depend on consumer data to control and direct specific advertisements at them. Filling forms, performing captcha tests, and accepting cookies. They all provide consumer data now protected by the law. Therefore, all members of your remote marketing team should ensure that their actions follow CCPA compliance.
7. Track work hours and measure results
The fact that your team members may reside miles away means you just devise an effective way to keep reasonable tabs on everything and everyone. This is where consistent supervision and tracking comes into play. These remote work practices allow directors and managers like you to make sure that every team member is progressing. They can help make sure the task is done. Additionally, monitoring the results of these motions gives you the basic insights you need to make adjustments and create an increment in productivity across all sectors of your remote team.
For starters, carry out a quarterly review. Waiting for a cumulative of three months may not seem like the best possible idea. You may think of the weeks and days of little human errors that may pass by unnoticed. However, with the right checks and balances, quarterly reviews are the most sustainable method.
Create links for employee feedback, study the profit curve, and use these reviews to critically analyze what is working and what needs to be improved upon. In addition, providing incentives such as promotions and increased pay inspires team members to put in their best and log in more hours.
Best practices for remote marketing teams
The future of the job market is predominantly remote. The world is knee-deep in a pandemic. However, most corporations were leaning toward more remote work, especially with the boom in population, long commute times, and the advent of faster internet services at homes. Following these best practices ensures your remote marketing team produces maximum results that are in tandem with your company’s goals and vision.
This guest blog article was written by Arianna Lupi, an account manager for Outreach Humans and SpaceBoat.