Effectively connecting with remote team members

Finding the right talent for your organization can be difficult and costly, especially if the organization is confined to a city or state. If you have the right talent, virtual collaboration is possible and can be highly productive even when team members can’t meet face to face. The key is to establish a plan that holds individual team members responsible for subtasks and deadlines. This promotes accountability, that keeps the development process moving forward. As an advertising agency, we’ve found that when working with remote designers specifically, there are a few things to consider if you choose to embark on this process:

Get on the same page

It’s important to begin the development of each campaign by making sure all team members understand the goal and emotion you want to drive – the campaign direction. This will save time and rework later. To start, create a document that can be shared among team members that establishes the campaign theme, content focus, copy guidelines, and design notes. The greater the detail, the better, as this document will serve as a reference source. Next, schedule a meeting to discuss the campaign. Web-based platforms like Zoom or GoToMeeting are great options which allow for screen sharing and large numbers of people to join. As you discuss the upcoming campaign, here are a few details to consider:

  • Campaign resources
  • Campaign goal
  • Campaign deadlines
  • Historical campaign performance
  • Testing strategy
  • Events happening in the environment (social, political, environmental)

Set deadlines

In any collaborative process, internal and external review time is essential to ensure the final product matches the intended goal. Creating a timeline of each step toward the outcome allows you to check the progression of campaign development, address issues as they occur, and schedule time for creative review and feedback, so that changes can be made quickly. There are several online project management platforms like Monday or Teamwork that can help your design team remain informed while working remotely.

Expect the unexpected

With information readily available, plans change and delays happen. At any time during the process, it may be necessary to go back to square one. Copy may have to be rewritten or the design theme may have to be revised. Communication is important at every stage of the development process, but no more so than at this one. Minimize the impact of the unexpected by informing key stakeholders of the issue and communicating with your team as soon as possible. Assess how these changes will affect your schedule and build out additional time in the process if needed. It’s also helpful to refer to the document created in step one with your original plan, make adjustments, and summarize the main changes for your design team.

Working with a remote design team doesn’t have to be troublesome. By keeping these strategies in mind, you can create a smooth process and an effective integrated team, as we have.

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Picture of Tola Oladapo

Tola Oladapo