Adaptation to the permanent hybrid workplace of the future
The role of B2B marketers varies greatly, but all marketers have one thing in common that determines their success: excellent communication in the workplace.
By 2021, hybrid work is likely to be anchored in many organizations: 54% of people who temporarily work from home want to continue doing so after the pandemic, according to a study by Pew Research.
Much of the narrative about "remote work" emphasizes the "remote" part as an obstacle to communication. However, if you turn this concept on its head, think of it this way: Hybrid working means that everyone you work with is equidistant.
Collaboration in the workplace of the future
The first step is to learn that "collaboration" goes beyond meetings. You can now (digitally) sit down with your colleagues in marketing, those in other business areas (e.g. sales) and your customers – all from the same place.
For example, some marketing teams have made it their business to "train out loud" in a chat tool like Facebook's Workplace and regularly publish excerpts about the tasks they perform. When you do this, others will be asked to provide input or ask questions. This is equivalent to walking past a desk and saying, "Oh, that reminds me …"
Discord also takes off. Its origins lie in esports: players wanted an always open channel to talk to each other. But the service is now used by everyone looking for a meeting place. Think of this as a two-way radio station that you tune into. In contrast to a conference call with fixed start and end times, the channel is always switched on.
If your marketing teams are working with agencies, contractors, and other part-time workers to help with projects, they too can be invited to digital collaboration rooms. A digital office can therefore speed up communication throughout an entire project.
Speed isn't the only benefit. Digital collaboration is also more efficient and easy to do. Teams, one of the core tools of Microsoft Office 365, offer great collaboration. Colleagues can work on documents, save content and hold conversations in subject areas known as channels and of course hold meetings at the same time.
In marketing, we usually work across several projects. If you can jump from one suitable team area to another, you will have a separate campaign room for each project.
We've all zoomed out, but that's partly because we're trying to do what we've always done in the real world instead of asking what new options a digital approach can bring to the workplace of the future.
Online meetings don't have to feel like the opening of the Muppet Show. Virtual meetings can even be better than face-to-face meetings in some ways.
For example, in traditional workshops, participants can create numerous sticky notes and insert them into sophisticated marketing framework diagrams. It definitely looks colorful and feels like work, but it often makes people focus only on their own posts. Others' ideas can get so short on a small piece of paper (and in illegible handwriting) that they are overlooked.
However, if you use this process and let the meeting attendees generate ideas online – perhaps as a card in Trello – you can expand them. You can also use mentions and comments to invite others to build on a topic instead of creating a parallel thread.
Communities and Connections
When colleagues are not in the same place, it is important to create a sense of community. However, by using team collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, users are less able to interact with their extended networks.
The permanent hybrid workplace scenario of the future means that we will have to get used to re-establishing these connections in new ways.
During pandemic restrictions, employees were more likely to want to connect to non-work-related events. Some companies have selected athletic employees for leading online exercise classes. others have had their employees hold cooking or painting competitions.
The connection is also made through messages, which are either informal exchanges of personal messages (births, engagements, new pets) or more formal corporate messages exchanged over a corporate intranet. An intranet not only keeps employees up to date on company developments, but also keeps track of their successes, as they can see what is happening in real time.
Celebrating success is also important to foster a sense of connectedness. Recognizing team members or their performance has the greatest impact on the feeling of belonging. This was the result of a study of 4,700 remote workers. So if you have a good month of sales let everyone know!
Just because more people will work from home in the workplace of the future doesn't mean they will always be at their desks. When the restrictions are lifted, we are more likely to want to meet and make connections – e.g. B. hire a new creative or PR agency.
A growing number of employee apps offer interactive functions for communities, communication and collaboration on the go. Such programs allow marketing teams to stay in touch and stay productive when mobility resumes.
More resources to adapt to the workplace of the future
Remote Marketing Teams: Benefits, Challenges, and Five Tools to Keep Them In Sync
What's next for remote work?
Trusting Remote Workers: The New Normal (Infographic)