Things may never return to the way they were before the pandemic, but we are getting back to relatively normal, and I know many of my fellow marketing professionals who’ve been working from home for the past year are debating whether or not it’s time to go back to the office.
I sent my entire team home back in March thinking, like many of us did, that the whole thing would blow over in a few months. Well, over a year later and vaccines have just begun to roll out. As someone who has been running my agency from the comfort of my home office, I wanted to impart a few of the pros and cons I’ve experienced over the past year.
Since the work-from-home order started and The Go! Agency went remote, my team has been working on flexible schedules and using the time they would have spent commuting to log on and begin work.
We’ve onboarded a lot of clients since the pandemic began and I’ve watched as my team put in hard hours pulling campaigns together on the new and unique clients. I have a current client who heavily advocates for allowing teams to work remotely, citing statistics that show they’re overall more satisfied and more productive. I’ve seen this to be true.
Because everybody is working at home and in unique environments, we’ve all tested our adaptation skills and learned new and exciting technologies in the process. For example, being remote allowed us to start taking on TikTok and incorporating it into our marketing strategy. Could we have done this in the office? Frankly, probably not. All of the team being in unique locations gives the TikToks we’re producing for clients the appearance of authenticity the audience on TikTok expects, something we couldn’t have achieved in our corporate setting.
Issues in communication
This has been the biggest challenge to having my team work remotely. It’s so easy when you’re just working across the hall from someone to go to their office and sort out any miscommunications that arise. But now, in the age of ping and instant messaging, unintentional misinterpretation runs rampant. Escalating anything to a Zoom call feels like a confrontation. But really, it isn’t! We’ve gotten so used to IM’s or just not wanting to bother anybody that every miscommunication has suddenly become a massive deal.
Just by the nature of being divided, all of the projects have come together slightly piecemeal instead of as a unit, which is what I would prefer. Parts of the project feel like they go from one part of the assembly line to the next and while I’m still usually pleased with the results, I really can’t wait until we’re all ready to be together in a collaborative space where ideas and solutions can be shared openly and aren’t held back by not wanting to bother somebody with an instant message.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that things have run smoothly over the past year, but despite the hiccups, I’m proud of the progress that The Go! Agency has made. But, in my personal opinion, I’m ready to go back to the office. Running the show from home can be done, but it adds unnecessary complications that are erased once the team is working in the same space.
Will you be going back to an office or are you opting to stay remote for the time being, or perhaps permanently? I hope that my experience has made you weigh the decision carefully, no matter what option you decide to take.