Hire the Team Not the Location and Work with Remote Teams
Today’s marketing teams are working remotely with their counterparts around the world. As a modern leader, the concept of outsourcing (virtual) teams is appealing to many companies these days. We live in a connected world with instant chat, collaborative project management systems, and the old phone.
Do you remember the Concorde? I do and was on it seven times. The flight attendants loved being on it and so did the passengers. You were aware of being part of a very small group of people that were privileged enough to be on Concorde. But it really wasn’t that great. In fact, I remember the ride as very noisy, extremely noisy. But it got you there quickly. I’ll pass if it were still operational. I could have had 1-2 fewer trips.
Yes, despite what Marissa past doing over at Yahoo. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously banned employees from working remotely. IBM did the same thing, forcing remote workers to start showing up at the office. These are huge companies and they might have been pruning their human capital. But, for us and our clients, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Many organizations today are accessing the knowledge of experts not near them. They want the expertise of all the team has to offer while delivering results. At Matrix Marketing Group, we tapped into the design capabilities of the people in Vermont. We love them so much that we open an office in Burlington, Vermont. And the work between the Denver and Burlington office is done remotely. It works.
We wanted a company culture that valued work-life balance. An agency where we could get the best talent possible. So we offered remote jobs, coworking space, and distributed teams.
Whatever your reasons, virtual teams are a reality in today’s workforce and here to stay. But, the nature of remote teams makes it important to have an environment where communication can thrive. And with today’s connected world it’s never been easier.
I didn’t see the advantage of starting a traditional brick-and-mortar marketing firm. After working on the client sides with firms such as IBM, Sun Microsystems (although Scott believed in virtual offices), and Baan, I wanted to go virtual.
If not, I would have been billing at the same rate as larger agencies. I wanted to offer the expertise of a senior-level person, at very affordable rates. And, that’s a reality that doesn’t exist at large agencies.
In our past 17 years, we had 5 clients come to our Denver office. They want us to come to them.
For us, allowing people to work from home saves us thousands of dollars every month and is a huge perk for them. While many online businesses have gone virtual, the traditional business world hasn’t caught up. There are many brilliant professionals out there looking for remote positions and finding nothing in the traditional corporate world. Grab them for your company instead.
Matrix Marketing Group is running like clockwork in a virtual environment. Renting an expensive corporate office for an online world where work is conducted via social media, instant messaging and other online collaborative tools make it all work (don’t miss the tools below).
Our clients do not want to pay for this unnecessary overhead like an agency’s lush suites with one hand while slashing its own payroll with the other. However, it does take a special person who can work in this environment and it’s not for everyone.
The virtual agencies of today have their origins in the downturn of the early ’90s when, amid agency cost-cutting, some agency staff that jumped ship or walked the plank sought to go into business for themselves, but needed a means of keeping costs manageable and life flexible in uncertain times.
It’s far easier going for the virtual agency entrepreneur this time around, what with e-mail, instant messaging, mobile phones and web tools that allow for real-time online discussions and collaboration.
Achieve Results Without Boundaries
No longer are you constrained by a potential employee’s physical location when building the right team to deliver results? I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 tools to help you work and manage a remote team.
10 Tools for Managing Virtual Teams
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video conferencing communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.
“Zoom helped us transform [technology] experience. It is one of those platforms we didn’t need to market internally to increase adoption because it works every time,” Autodesk.
Monday.com is a project management solution that is available in both cloud-based and on-premise deployment options.
This works great for remote work delivered by your remote team members.
No one stays in one place all day long and neither does monday.com. Seamlessly switch between your computer and your phone with the monday.com app. All the workflow management power you need, now in your pocket too. Great for remote teams.
Use Hangouts to keep in touch. Message contacts, start free video or voice calls and hop on a conversation with one person or a group.
Slack is one of the most widely used tools by remote teams. Remote-first companies like Zapier, Buffer, and Help Scout consider Slack their “virtual office”—a place where employees can get instant feedback and connect with their colleagues, both one-on-one and in groups.
InVision is a suite of design software. With a 4.5 out of 5 ratings on both G2 Crowd and Capterra, and an 8.5 out of 10 ratings on TrustRadius, it’s no wonder remote teams like Treehouse, Help Scout, and Trello loves using it.
“InVision is one of my favorite products,” shared Nick Francis, Co-Founder and CEO, Help Scout. “The experience is flawless, little details are executed, and it keeps our remote team in sync throughout the design process.”
With so many project management tools to choose from, it was hard to pick just one. However, Trello stood out to us for its style, simplicity, and performance.
By visualizing what needs to get done and aggregating feedback from the whole team, Trello helps remote teams increase their productivity.
One secret to its success might be the fact that Trello doesn’t require so much information it becomes a time suck. It’s ideal for fast-paced startups.
Trello’s simplicity makes it flexible, resulting in hundreds of unique ways to use the software. For example, Help Scout’s support team uses it to keep track of product issues, updates, and requests.
Digital file management is essential for the smooth operation of any business. For remote-first companies, it’s often more important because geographically dispersed employees access files during times when their colleagues can’t be reached.
With a 4.6 out of 5 ratings on G2 Crowd, 4.5 out of 5 ratings on Capterra, and 8.6 out of 10 ratings on TrustRadius, Google Drive takes the cake, which isn’t surprising considering that Drive integrates seamlessly with other apps within G Suite.
Adobe Document Sign makes it easy for remote managers to get signatures easily and swiftly. The good thing is that you do not need an Adobe account to be able to sign documents.
Moreover, it is compatible with all browsers and mobile device operating systems. This tool solves the document signing issue without having to go through the process of downloading, printing, signing then scanning. It is a great time saver and environmentally-friendly too as it minimizes the use of paper.
Zapier is an essential tool for remote team management that ensures that all of your tools work together. This is because Zapier automates your work and connects all of your apps/tools to ensure your team is productive at all times.
It is possible to link web apps which allow for easier data sharing. Zapier is also a tool that builds processes to ensure more work is completed within the shortest time possible. This tool can connect to Dropbox, Gmail, slack, PayPal, and Buffer.
Canva for Work is a tool that allows its users to access and collaborate on graphics work. It is a tool that is very easy to use and compatible with different devices. Canva for Work makes it possible for anyone in the team to design documents with its drag and drop feature.
This tool allows users to save brand colors, fonts, and logos, therefore, organizing and centralizing your brand’s assets. With this tool, users can also edit photos, save templates and organize images while making them available for the whole team.
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Wrap-up on working remotely with remote teams
If you are a remote team manager, look no further when it comes to effectively managing your remote team. With these 10 essential tools for remote team management, you can surely lead a productive virtual team effectively.
Matrix Marketing Group has been working with remote contractors, remote clients, and remote employees. Sure there is a hiccup’s now and then but for the past 17 years things are going well.