In the first installment of our “Thankful” series, we shared which digital marketing tools our content folks use to push the needle for clients. But marketing is about more than strategy and industry-specific tools, it’s about team collaboration to deliver results. ProFromGo’s entire design team is a remote powerhouse. We’re thankful for a few of our favorite tools that make out-of-office life feel as inclusive, productive and collaborative as any cubicle.
Communication Tools – Sarah Kennedy, Graphic Designer
No commute through rain and snow. No traffic jams in boiling summer heat…No pants (just kidding). I wear pants…Pajama pants. What can I say? Some stereotypes about working remotely are definitely true. My camera is often turned off on video calls because my appearance is not always pulled together first thing in the morning, and I usually have a cat in my lap. These are just some of the perks of working remotely. Other benefits? Less time spent away from family and the ability to work for your dream company on the other side of the world. None of this would be possible without solid communication tools to stay in touch with my team.
I love Slack because I’m a text communication kind of girl. Phone calls are my least favorite form of communication. E-mails often get lost in busy inboxes or complicated threads. Other chat systems can feel unprofessional or too public. Slack’s abilities range from tagging team members (providing direct notifications) and dedicated conversation channels to sharing files and hashtagging your conversations for search purposes later.
My personal favorite feature is direct channels. We don’t all work on the same clients, or need to discuss the same topics daily. Creating channels specifically for clients, topics or projects allows us to choose which channels we follow and which we mute. Think of it like being able to remove yourself from that e-mail chain or group text that actually has nothing to do with you. I can stay focused on the tasks that concern me and keep in touch in real time with my fellow team members.
Oh, and you know how in-office teams enjoy occasional witty banter? Slack provides that, too. We’re talking ALL the cute animal GIFs. These tools and more from Slack create an organized, easily-accessible package that keep the gears of our team turning smoothly while building relationships like any traditional coworking space.
Conference calls from home FTW!
Group meetings are necessary, but they’re difficult with your employees spread across borders and timezones. Zoom gives all our team members the ability to log on to one group call—in the office, at home, the car or at a coffee shop—and have face-to-face interaction that may otherwise be lacking. No need to fight over who booked the conference room first, either.
Additionally, Zoom provides screen-sharing options. This comes in handy for a designer when there’s a meeting and I need to share designs and get feedback. When screen sharing, everyone on the call is seeing the same thing, which saves the time and headaches that would otherwise result from making sure everyone has the correct file and page number.
Productivity Tools – Alyssa Moore, Lead UX/UI Designer
Working remotely is wonderful, but also challenging. It requires personal accountability to actually be working when you say you’re working. It’s also a bit isolating without friendly office faces around to take a break with. Sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of. But working remotely has become more commonas technology evolves and companies go global, making it easier to bridge literal and figurative gaps. Personally, I’m thankful for a few productivity and collaboration tools that make my work easier.
Teamwork Project Management
Communicating tasks from one team member to another is a challenge that exists in any agency setting, not just remote work. It’s true that you can’t just tap a coworker on the shoulder or stop by their office to relay a task, but when things get hectic it’s not really good form to pass things along in this way. However, as a remote employee, it’s even more important for me to stay organized and aware of the projects on my plate. PFG’s project management suite, Teamwork, allows me to easily add tasks through a Google Chrome extension, look at tasks in calendar form to see what’s coming and log time to these tasks.
For remote work, the unwritten rule is, “As long as you get your work done, it doesn’t matter where you do it.” Teamwork is the best way for remote workers like me to make sure nothing sneaks up on us. We can easily manage tasks to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Bonus perk: I can show exactly where I put those eight hours a day.
GSuite is an awesome way for team members (and clients) to work on tasks together and share progress without having to sit side by side. Our most-used elements of GSuite? Google Drive and Google Docs. Google Drive allows you to upload and share content easily without having to worry about size limits (especially helpful for a designer sharing sizable graphics). Through Google Docs, teams can brainstorm ideas, write/edit content and outline project goals. I love that updates are made in real time so I can work seamlessly with everyone. It’s almost as if we’re together!
Trust ProFromGo for Expert Digital Marketing
Remote work opportunities are becoming more common and more valuable to both employers and team members. Of course, implementing a work structure that allows for remote work involves significant trust and accountability, too. The PFG team stays organized by using tools to streamline projects, scheduling meetings in chunks to ensure availability and by planning virtual meet-ups to stay in sync with one another. Despite our different cities and zip codes, we stay on top of each project. Get in touch today to discuss your digital marketing needs.