Image courtesy of punsayaporn at FreeDigitalPhotos.
You’ve seen the light. Your head is in the cloud. You want your agency to become a remote operation. I can understand why - there are numerous benefits to running an agency remotely. With less required spending on office space, furniture, and facilities, you can dramatically lower your overheads. You also expand your talent pool to every corner of the globe.
But just how remote can you go? Often, we don’t realise just how much can be done remotely. Here are just some of the agency roles that can be handled remotely, and some tips for managing each one:
Your Remote Creative Team
Creatives are often solitary creatures by nature (I know I sure am), and the remote work environment is the ideal situation for getting their best work done. Although the initial creative brainstorming can be done on a group call, the creative can then shut off all distractions and get to work on the nitty gritty details.
What does a creative need to work remotely?
- Online Creative Tools: Whatever their medium, your creative team need the right tools to get the job done. This could include word-processing software, Adobe Creative Suite, or video editing software like Final Cut.
- A way to store and collaborate on files: Creatives will need to get feedback from the rest of the team - as well as the client - on different aspects of a job.
- A Cat: Creatives and cats go together like … two things that go together well. The cat might sit on top of the computer monitor, perch on the creative’s shoulders and attempt to bat at the screen, or recline in a judgement box on the side of the desk.
Your Remote Account Manager
While the creative takes care of making everything look pretty, the account manager is the one making sure everything gets done and serving as the voice of reason between the creative team and the client. Account managers have excellent people skills, and are fantastic at organising and managing finances, planning, and chasing up deadlines.
What does an account manager need to work remotely?
- Project Management software: Account managers are usually slaves to spreadsheets and post-it note lists, but in order to work remotely, they will need a more robust tool that can instantly connect them to everything that’s going on in the team. A cloud-based project management tool like WorkflowMax enables them to track every aspect of a job.
- Collaboration Tools: More than anyone else in your team, your account manager needs to be in constant contact with both the team, and the clients. Make sure he/she has the tools to keep in touch.
- A coffee machine: All that organising takes its toll on the analytical mind. A home-coffee machine is essential to refuel and refocus.
Your Remote Managing Director / CEO
This is you. You are the big cheese, the head honcho, the boss. You call the shots. And if you want to work remotely, then of course you should be able to.
What the Managing Director needs to work remotely
- Notifications: One of the most difficult things for a leader is to lose sight over what’s going on in their company. A great idea is to utilize the notifications tool in your project management software to send you a note every time a piece of work is signed off. All it takes is a quick glance at your notes to have clarity on what’s being done.
- A Smartphone: We’re all glued to our phones these days. As a managing director, you’re probably worse than most. That phone is your lifeline, your window into the world.
- A yacht: Let’s be honest. You probably don’t need a yacht. No, scratch that, of course you do.
Your Remote Administration / Office Manager
Busy, thriving agencies will often have someone on staff in charge of admin and general customer service. This is the person who will calls the printer and refills the coffee and makes sure everyone gets paid on time. Your office manager is the mother hen, looking after everyone.
It may seem odd having an office manager when you don’t technically have an office. But pretty much all administration tasks can be done digitally and remotely. So why not?
What does your office manager need to work remotely?
- World Clock: Office managers make sure stuff gets booked on the right days and things happen at the right time. In order to do that, they need to know the time everywhere.
- Calculator: Office managers will usually be responsible for the monthly bookkeeping. The ability to quickly do sums will definitely come in handy.
- An actual hen: Mostly, I say this because I love chickens, and an office hen would provide some lovely eggs for friday omelettes.
So there you have it. With just a few simple tools, everyone in your agency team could soon be working remotely.
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