Challenges & Solutions for Remote & Hybrid Teams
With a pandemic, unprecedented stay at home orders and an economic shake-up unlike anything we’ve seen before, the last few years have had many unexpected twists and turns. One of the major effects of all this change and uncertainty is the mass exodus in the job market. “The Great Resignation” is a complicated and nuanced phenomenon, but it’s widespread, affecting nearly every industry across the economy, including advertising, media-buying and marketing. Employees are leaving their old agencies, opting out of the rigid structures of the past when it was expected that everyone would come into the office every day. Workers in today’s market want flexibility, option and opportunity.
In order for agencies to remain competitive as they vie for the best candidates, they’ll have to be flexible. Over 70% of workers would prefer hybrid or remote flexibility over a 10% raise (even during a period of rapid inflation). Workers are placing tremendous weight on the flexible lifestyle remote and hybrid work offers. Workplace culture and even pay are beginning to matter less in the calculus.
Remote and hybrid work environments present many logistical challenges, especially if processes are dependent on paper and face-to-face physical communication. The best solution is to take full advantage of technology.
Do Any of These Resemble Your Process?
Communication- You’re probably already using various video-conferencing apps, emailing and chat features to run your agency. What if you need to quickly reference some parts of a conversation you had over chat and some parts over a video call? Does everyone on your team have access to every communique they need involving the project they’re on?
Project Schedules- There are so many digital options out there, but you’ll still find a surprising number of teams that use physical calendars for their project schedules. Still, some teams that utilize digital calendars for their project schedules may not have those calendars fully integrated with their communication apps, creative collaboration software or accounting system.
Kanban Boards- Is there still a physical board in your office that you run your project with? What happens when there’s no one there to move the sticky note over? Do you have to take pictures of your Kanban Board every morning and afternoon to send to your remote workers? The agility of an “agile” workflow can quickly turn molasses if you don’t have the right system in place. Digital options abound to solve this problem, but care must be taken in selecting an online tool that translates well to agency use.
Billing Approval- Does your agency get billing approval handled the old-fashioned way? Printing out invoices and routing them for approval already slows the process down, but what if the John Hancock you need belongs to a remote employee? The process comes to a crawl.
AP- The same is true of the “old-fashioned” way of approving accounts payable. If the process depends on printing AP invoices for approval, it can spell trouble in the new era of remote/hybrid workplaces. And disparate management systems designed to make the process paperless, can still create duplicate entries and leave plenty of room for human error.
Vendor Payments - Getting vendors paid in a timely manner means getting checks signed faster, which is simply impossible when the signer works remotely. And if they come into the office periodically, it slows down the process while checks wait for signatures.
Proofing- Creative proofing isn’t as simple as gathering around prints and marking up the needed changes anymore. Your creative team could be in a global diaspora. With this reality, many agencies have turned to either overly expensive online proofing tools or clunky monstrosities that are a pain to integrate with the project management system being used.
What’s the solution? Flexibility is the key to survival in the new working landscape. Thankfully, agencies are known for their adaptability, if they have the right tools. But disconnected systems and tools can be costly and present new challenges, such as duplicate entries between systems.
That’s where Advantage Software steps in
The Advantage agency management system offers a variety of Media, Project Management and Accounting tools to help you run your agency, PR firm or in-house marketing department. Because it’s all in one system, every team member is connected, no matter where they are located. It’s the perfect solution for the remote and hybrid workplace.
The Advantage agency management system is an all-in-one solution purpose-built for agencies and creative teams of all sizes.
We’ve been exclusively focused on helping our clients maximize productivity, efficiency and profitability for over 40 years, with almost a thousand agencies counting on us to help run their business every day.
With Advantage, you get a team of US-based agency veterans supporting you every step of the way. All implementation and training is done by experienced Advantage staff, and all clients have unlimited access to our live customer support line from 8am-7:30pm Eastern every business day.
Find out how Advantage can help you by contacting us for a complimentary demo or discussion about your unique needs.