If your brand embraces the work-from-home culture, as 47% of working Americans say they do, a relatively modern challenge arises – how to manage your content team efficiently and effectively from wherever they are.
Even if your in-house content marketing team is office based, you likely are working with freelancers, agencies, or other teams within your company to execute the strategy.
Why not use the same networks that afford the virtual office to reap the benefits of remote teams, while still hitting deadlines, maintaining rapport, and feeling in control?
These seven tips and tools will help you create an effective remote team connection.
1. Establish a routine while staying flexible
One of the biggest opportunities remote work provides is improved efficiency. On average, employees working in the office lose six hours per day due to interruptions, unnecessary meetings, and other distractions.
While a remote team doesn’t mean the end to meetings and interruptions, it’s an opportunity to create a structure that forgoes overbooking and micromanaging.A remote content team is a way to create structure that forgoes overbooking & micromanaging. @cmicontent Click To Tweet
Tool: Tools like Wizergos provide a digital workspace for your team to meet regularly and deliberately. You can send meeting invites, share tactics, collaborate on content, etc. Because the meeting process – agenda, follow-up, etc. – are tracked digitally, you can gain insights into which meetings might be eating up precious hours. It also allows employees to see when they don’t need to attend meetings that don’t concern them. That’s a huge win for everyone.Tools like @wizergos provide a digital workspace for teams to meet regularly via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet
2. Set accountability standards
Most people view remote work as a privilege and do everything they can not to abuse it; then, there are those who don’t. To keep your team’s performance up to snuff, set deadlines, benchmarks, and other milestones.
Tool: Jell and related platforms allow you to set custom goals and metrics that correlate specific tasks to quantifiable results. You can also use Jell for daily stand-ups and content progress updates. The platform also makes it painfully clear which employees are going above and beyond or falling behind. You’ll be able to nip any potential problem before it spirals out of control. Or you’ll see how smoothly everything is going and be able to sit back and revel in your remote team’s ability to get it done.
3. Be transparent in management
As the manager of a remote content team, you need to know what your team is doing. But what about you? Your team benefits from knowing what you’re up to each day too.
Tool: Send daily status updates, email recaps, or create a Trello board to tell your team about your schedule. Include meetings, business development, analytics, and whatever else you have on the docket. When a team knows transparency is a two-way street, morale improves. A happy remote team that respects you as a leader is much easier to manage from afar.
4. Share a server
If everyone is using their own personal computers, logging in from Starbucks, and using who knows what internet connection, use a common server that’s protected and secure to store your content work.
Tool: Workfront and Google Drive are two helpful homes for secured shared content. Require all on your content team to create and use shared folders to store files in one safe place. If someone is offline, you won’t have an issue tracking down a piece of work.Remote content teams should use a secured server to store work. @cmicontent @workfront @googledrive Click To Tweet
5. Stay in touch
When you’re not in an office, you lose the ability to swing by someone’s desk for a quick chat. That can be a time-saver. But sometimes you really need to know the answer to a question that second – not hours later when an email gets returned.
Tool: Slack is one communication tool that can help. This platform allows you to have private and public conversations with your team in real time through the chat feature – and your team can talk among themselves. Slack also offers video chat if you prefer to see your team face to face, which brings me to my next point …
6. Make time for face time
It’s easy to lose touch or fail to connect with your remote team if you never look them in the eye. To combat this, schedule one-on-one conversations through video conferencing tools. Just make sure to schedule these video meetings at least one day ahead so your team isn’t caught in pajamas!
If you’re feeling like your team feels distant or isolated, bring everyone together regularly for a virtual lunch. Make this a social hour where you catch up on things other than projects and to-do lists. That way, you’ll keep a friendly and personal dynamic on your team.Bring your remote #content team together for a virtual lunch to help alleviate isolation via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet
7. Get together
If your team is scattered all over the world, you probably can’t travel to a single site for a content marketing team meeting. However, if you’re in the same state or region, schedule time once per quarter for everyone to drive or fly to the office to spend time together. Better yet, get the most bang for your buck from your get-together by scheduling it around a conference. That way, you’ll have a few days to learn together as well as socialize in a fun location.
Managing a remote team is almost a mandate in today’s business world. By focusing deliberately on the unique opportunities and challenges of your content team, you can stay ahead of the curve and of your team’s needs and daily challenges to deliver an even more effective content marketing program.
How do you lead your remote content team? If you’re a remote content team member, what do you find are the best parts and the most challenging? Share in the comments.
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Cover image by Wilfred Iven, StockSnap
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).