As our world becomes more globalized and therefore more hyper-interconnected, it’s now easier to work from nearly any location or time zone. Remote working is becoming an increasingly popular option, with 4.3 million people in the UK now telecommuting regularly, while 43 percent of Americans work from home at least occasionally. Marketing is one of the fields at the forefront of the rise of remote working, and it’s easy to see why. After all, the marketing industry is one characterised by constant change and further digitisation.
Now, let’s dive into the demographics, the benefits and tips for engaging and launching a remote workforce.
Demographics of Remote Workers
The Benefits of Building a Virtual Team
Encouraging employees to work remotely can have many benefits for businesses. It can give employees more free time and a better work/life balance as they don’t need to commute. It also allows them flexibility to choose when and how they work, and this added trust can boost their creativity and commitment to the company.
It’s not just employees that benefit—employers also feel the positive effects. Remote working can increase employee productivity, boost confidence and improve job satisfaction. A study conducted by Cardiff University revealed that 73 percent of employees that work remotely “put more effort into their work” when doing it from home.
As a business, building a virtual team can also help you attract the best marketers from across the globe, as employees can work from any location. A global workforce will allow you to better serve your customers because employees can work around the clock and bring in special insight from their own location, whether that’s the latest B2B marketing trends in their country or a deep knowledge of their own culture, helping you better serve international clients.
How to Keep Virtual Teams Engaged: 6 Tactics from Leadfeeder
Once you’ve established a virtual team, it’s important to ensure employees stay engaged by building a strong culture.
For example, Leadfeeder is a 100 percent global remote team with more than 40 employees in 17 different countries and, according to Leadfeeder’s Head of Communications, Carol Luong, they’re still able to maintain the in-person connection and productivity by employing these six different tactics to keep teams moving forward.
Here are Luong’s tried-and-true tips for engaging a global remote team:
1. Twice-a-year, the entire global team meets up in a different city across the globe for a full week of strategizing and bonding. We usually choose a resort with a conference center during off-season so that it’s more budget-friendly. Leadfeeder employees traveled to Helsinki, Finland in years past, Malaga, Spain in March and Riga, Latvia in October in 2018.
2. Slack is the heart of all communications to maintain open communications and transparency. Leadfeeder has more than 50 different active channels to accommodate for the different teams and initiatives. One of the favorite channels is the “Core Values” channel where team members are able to give a shoutout to another team member if he/she exhibited one of the core values, such as being a team player or a self-starter.
3. Leadfeeder also uses Google Hangouts and Zoom for videoconferencing and screen sharing sessions. We make it an effort to turn on our cameras for almost every meeting.
4. Every Friday we have a “retro” call that is open to any team member to join and talk about how their week went and what weekend plans they have coming up. It allows others to stay in touch with other departments in a more casual manner.
5. All new team members are on-boarded in person and flies out to the city where their team lead is at. They also invite others from different departments to join as well. There are usually a minimum of two other people who help to onboard the new hire. This initial in-person engagement sets the tone for the rest of the remote working experience.
6. Every employee is entitled to fly out to Finland, where Leadfeeder’s headquarters are located, to meet with the founders once-a-year.
Establishing several times during the work day for employees to touch base and communicate with other team members via digital tools like Slack can make sure they don’t feel neglected and stay engaged with the team. Much like Luong’s suggestion, try launching a “buddy” system to help new recruits integrate into your virtual team, provide regular feedback from managers and arrange regular get-togethers in-person, if possible.
Need more helpful tips? Discover more about remote working, including how to successfully establish a virtual team, in Sage’s guide to remote working and virtual teams.
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