Around the world and across the realms of business, remote work is becoming more and more common and popular. Use of virtual and online marketing recruitment agencies is growing. Employees appreciate being able to work from the comfort of home or the local coffee shop and avoid the commute. Businesses get to drastically widen their potential talent pool and trim workplace costs. In many ways, it’s a win-win for jobs that don’t require a lot of hands-on effort, manual labor and intense collaboration.
However, virtual work often has the unfortunate side effect of distancing the employee from the business’s culture. That can impact the quality of work and job satisfaction. If you have an opportunity to work in remote marketing staffing, whether full time or part time, it’s important to be proactive to avoid losing touch with your team and taking a hit to your productivity.
Marketing, even more than most disciplines, is ripe for opportunities to work remotely in some capacity. So much of our work is done digitally now, there’s often not a true need for a marketer to be physically on-site to contribute their expertise and output.
Trends in Action: Is Your Business Ready for a Remote Marketing Staff?
New organizational strategies alongside improved technology and communications infrastructure are enabling some 3.5 million professionals to work primarily from home. That number continues to grow at a remarkable rate. Basic options like Google Docs, instant messaging services, and video conferencing can get anyone started. More advanced offerings can almost entirely eliminate most of the practical problems associated with remote marketing work.
However, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be challenges associated with telecommuting. The best marketing operations tend to be run by close teams of extremely smart marketers who are in constant close collaboration and communication. They share ideas, offer insights, and work together to build and execute the best strategy. If you’re removed from the team environment and not contributing to the culture of your business, it’s difficult to participate and benefit from that collaboration.
There’s also the personal challenges of working while physically isolated from your base of operations. Many people appreciate the peace and quiet of working from home. But if you’re the kind of person who thrives with lots of engagement or craves casual banter, you might find that working from home isn’t as fulfilling as you’d hoped. You might get less immediate recognition for good work from management, or feel left out of group activities. Over time, this can affect your enthusiasm for your job and the quality of your contributions.
How Marketers Can Stay Engaged from Miles Away
If losing touch with the spirit of your business and missing out on its culture are a concern for you, try working the following tips into your day-to-day work.
Add a Personal Touch
Make a point to include a little piece of yourself with your communications and the work you submit. That way you’re not just some robot spitting out deliverables and emails–you’re a unique and powerful personality that’s making unique and memorable contributions. That doesn’t mean that every email you send has to be complete with a witty remark or personal reference. But injecting a bit of your own charisma into your engagement with the rest of the company will help distinguish you in the minds of your coworkers.
Make it to Big Company Events
You might not want or be able to make it in to the office on a regular basis. After all, that’s what makes remote marketing staffing so appealing. But during special occasions or major corporate events, it can be very much worth the extra effort to make an appearance. Team building exercises, holiday parties, annual meetings and the like are all good candidates to show your face and remind people that there’s a human being attached to all the work you send in.
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Get on the Phone
The convenient world of email, instant messaging, and collaborative online communication tools makes it tempting to talk to the rest of your team almost exclusively via text. It’s fine to rely heavily on these tools to stay in constant communication. But for important meetings and meaningful conversations, you’re better off calling in manually. Making your voice heard reinforces yourself as a distinct individual with a unique character; not just an amorphous being that occasionally reaches out from the depths of the digital world to ask a question or submit a deliverable.
Better yet, add a visual component. Video chatting software is abundant and cheap (if not free), and it’s never been easier to have face-to-face conversations with your team from miles away.