media update's Taylor Goodman reveals how the marketing industry can grow and manage a strong remote team during this time. 

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, many people have had to adapt to working remotely. The work from home movement shows no signs of slowing down, with 16% of global business now operating as fully remote.

Why is remote working beneficial in a marketing context?

As a marketer, you are probably wondering: ‘working from home sounds great, but will that work for me?’ According to a study by the Cyprus Institute of Marketing of 1 900 people surveyed with remote positions, 25% worked in marketing.

A career in marketing allows people the freedom of working from anywhere in the world. As marketers are largely creative beings, the flexibility of working from home can spur innovation and productivity as these employees do not need to be chained to a desk to achieve their goals. 

Flexibility plays a significant role in why more marketers are choosing remote work, with brand recruitment reporting that flexible working is “the most important benefit for marketing professionals.” 

  Remote working will be beneficial in a marketing context for the following reasons:
Now, without further ado, here are five tips that marketers can employ to master the art of working from home:

1. Build trust with your employees

As you will be operating in different spaces, it will become difficult for managers to constantly monitor employees if they are working remotely —  this is where trust, respect and reliability come in. 

If you trust your employees, the need to persistently check up on them will not be necessary as you will have faith that they are spending their time at home working hard.

When building this relationship, the employees also need to have faith in their manager. To build that trust, an employee needs to feel valued and respected by their employer. This respect will spur employees' motivation and lead to them taking more initiative when working remotely.

This sense of mutual trust will allow both parties to work with each other in mind,  leading to a beneficial relationship where both parties are working towards a common goal. 

Creating a bond with your employees when working remotely will take a great deal of care and attentiveness from everyone, but is essential for sustaining a professional relationship. 

You can build this trust and respect in the following ways: 
  • Engaging with your team: Asking your employees’ opinion on work-related issues, or even striking up a chat with them about what they did over the weekend, will help your employees feel a sense of recognition and allow you as the employer to connect with your team.
  • Allow room for flexibility: Give your team the freedom to get their work done on their terms; this builds trust and encourages the employees to be self-motivated. 
  • Have fun with communication: Whether it is sending memes or catching up on a Zoom call, communication fosters connections, which will build professional relationships.

2. Encourage teamwork  

Aside from building a strong relationship with your employees, it is crucial that they have a sense of comradery amongst themselves. 

According to Forbes, “51% to 79% of virtual workers say that lack of a personal relationship/connection causes conflict and dissension within a team.”

Encouraging your team to work on  building professional relationships will benefit your business, as a team that understands each other's personalities and meshes well together is more productive.  

When building your remote marketing team, it would be advisable to pair up employees that have similar personality types and work ethics. As you are not bound to a location, you can search around and curate the best team possible. 

A simple way for employers to boost teamwork in a remote working environment is to encourage communication. 

By having regular virtual meetings and utilising instant messaging platforms like Google Hangouts, employees can strike up meaningful and fun conversations with their colleagues.

3. Set clear guidelines 

When building a remote marketing team, there is no room for ambiguity when it comes to roles and responsibilities. 

Employee relations aside, this is the most important step in ensuring that your team operates smoothly. Everyone needs to have a clear cut idea of what they need to achieve and what is expected of them so that tasks are done on time and the team can work together more cohesively. 

 Here are some ways to achieve a high-performance workforce:
  • Schedule weekly meetings: At these meetings, you can ensure everyone is on the same page by checking up on how everyone is coping, what tasks they’re working on that week and whether anyone has any issues
  • Utilise productivity tools: By making use of calendar and scheduling tools, employees can collaborate effectively, share documents and manage their own deadlines. 
  • Have regular feedback sessions: These sessions will allow employees to get positive feedback on their work, which will boost productivity, as well as learning which areas they need to work on. 
  • Communicate regularly: Communication is imperative in a remote working environment. This reaffirms that everyone is on the same page and creates an open channel for any questions. 

4. Take advantage of technology

As a remote marketer, technology is on your side. As advancements in productivity tools happen regularly, working from home has never been easier as there really is an app for everything!

Whether you want to track your employees progress, communicate, have a virtual meeting or collaborate on a project, ensuring that you leverage the right tools for your team is imperative. 

The best tools for a remote marketing team are:

5. Create a solid team culture

When working remotely, it can be challenging to build a definitive company culture as everyone is scattered and you very rarely meet face-to-face

As you operate differently, you will have a different set of goals, a separate vision and a different company culture compared to in-office workers

It is paramount when building your marketing team to embrace your remote workers by drawing up an inclusive and inspirational mission statement. According to Highfive, businesses that have a clear culture have lower turnover, better stock market returns and are more profitable

To successfully build a culture amongst your team, communication is key. By integrating collaborative work and working towards getting to know one another, your team will begin to bond over time and build trusting professional relationships.

As you build relationships with your colleagues, you will be able to determine your shared values and goals you wish to achieve through your work. 

Do you have any useful tips on managing a remote marketing team? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Hungry for more marketing tips? Be sure to check out these Marketing tips for South African freelancers during COVID-19.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy