Over the last few months, working from home has been a necessity. In March this year, workplaces were forced to close their doors and team members were sent home. Luckily for us, as a digital marketing, web development and design agency, we can operate at full capacity remotely. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for some businesses, who were forced to shut down completely.
Admittedly, at first, things were a little weird. No chats around the coffee machine about the football last night and full team meetings in the studio seemed a distant memory - normality was no more. Each member of the team was set up in their home office, kitchen, living room and even on their beds (yes, we’re looking at you Luke) to still complete client deliverables.
Working from home has slowly but surely become the new normal - it’s had to. Otherwise, we’d have been stuck in a rut and forced to close. Our team has all taken the new working conditions in their stride and it’ll definitely affect our working patterns when we’re operating in the office once again.
This post will outline our new evolved approach that’s taken shape during the last few months. 2020 has been a big learning curve for most businesses, including ourselves - here’s how we keep moving forward despite the challenges thrown at us to delight our clients at all times.
- How have we coped with the wholesome changes?
- The main worries when working from home
- How working from home has changed our process going forward
- How Red-Fern still delight our partners in times of adversity
How have we coped with the wholesome changes?
For our 15 team members, it’s fair to say that working from home has thrown up a range of challenges. One of the biggest hurdles at first was getting used to not being in the office where your teammates are a loud call away from coming over to your desk. Instead, these five-minute conversations turned into a Zoom call that took twice as much time.
That’s just how it had to be - it could be a lot worse, right?
On the whole, coping with the wholesome changes has been a breeze for us at Red-Fern. While it’s been a case of sink or swim in the deep end with the changes coming into place with immediate effect, our business is front-crawling into the next stage with ease. One area that has been exercised throughout the whole team is trust.
Sure, when working from home the temptation is there to stay in your pyjamas all day and binge on the latest Netflix series. However, that’d soon catch up with you and you’d be left without a job - not ideal at this current time. That’s why there’s been a huge onus placed on trust - whilst the temptation is there, is the work getting done as it was in the office?
If the answer is yes, then bingo! Your team has cracked it. If the answer is no, then you may need to look at the way you’re managing your working from home scheme. We feel that there’s a tendency for leadership teams to micro-manage and overly keep tabs on their teams when working from home - what does that say to their team members? They aren’t trusted? No wonder they’re not performing optimally.
The main worries when working from home
From my point of view, when we first started working from home, my main worry was that collaboration within the marketing team would suffer. To create well-aligned and successful campaigns, collaboration levels have to be high. When working in an office, this is easy as you’re all there together - but how would it work when we’re all at home?
In hindsight, I had nothing to worry about. There are plenty of collaboration tools that we’ve taken advantage of to ensure that our client deliverables are successfully met and our work is produced to the best of our abilities. Thanks to Zoom, Google Docs and Slack, we can work efficiently as though we’re all in the office together.
When you’re working in the office, everyone is there for the same reason. However, when bringing your work home and when other members of the household are present - some working, some furloughed - the chances of distraction are ramped up. Especially when some of the team have little ones who demand attention at all times.
We’ve come to realise that although the distractions are there in abundance, it’s not about how you work to fight them, it’s how you work around them to ensure that everything is completed and aligned. Sure, your child may be screaming the house down for no reason, you shouldn’t feel bad for tending to them or mindful that you’re not at your “workstation.” As long as the work gets done on time and to a high standard, who cares in what format you work?
At Red-Fern, we’ve always been accustomed to flexible working - long before the pandemic struck and forced a global shift. Again, it’s having that trust in our team members that we’re capable of getting the job done and that the work will be delivered no matter what. This level of trust and empowerment has been crucial to upholding the amazing culture that we have firmly established.
How working from home has changed our process going forward
What working from home has made us realise is that there’s no need for everyone to be in the office at all times for things to run smoothly. So, we can adapt an even more flexible working approach. Before these changes, things at Red-Fern were pretty flexible but things are about to change even further - and for the better, for sure.
Moving forward, we’re not expecting our team to be in the office five days a week, every week of the year. There’s just no need when we’ve proven that amazing results are achievable on a remote basis. Of course, we’re not saying that employees will stay remote forever, but we’re adopting a policy where team members can choose to be in the office for a minimum of three days a week.
There’ll be weeks where everybody is in for the full week, and there’ll no doubt be weeks where the office is a little deserted but that doesn’t mean we’re off the clock. Collaboration, hard work and incredible progress will continue to be made by our team, even though we might not be in the office. The beauty of this process is that it can’t be predicted - just like the digital world itself.
The trust instilled in our expert team allows them to shape their working patterns. We’ve found that this has a direct impact on the morale of our employees. Red-Fern is an amazing place to work, and it’s been taken to the next level with our new approach. Increased morale means heightened culture, increased motivation and most importantly, impressive results for our digital partners.
How Red-Fern still delight our partners in times of adversity
Whether it’s marketing, design or development, just because our approach has evolved, doesn’t mean our core values have to adapt. Delighting our partners at all times is one of the most important factors for us. We’ve continued to do so throughout these uncertain times and will do so going forward.
It’s one thing keeping our partners happy with our compliance, but we always make sure that we go above and beyond to exceed their expectations. Whether it’s in-depth blog analysis to create the most effective strategies for engagement, or making sure that our designs are in line with the latest industry trends - we strive to be the best there is to always add value to our partners.
One thing that the past few months have highlighted to us at Red-Fern is how closely we hold our partners. By being flexible, transparent and honest with them throughout the uncertainty, it’s helped strengthen our relationships and approach.
We’re sure that our partners will agree, in Red-Fern not only are you outsourcing an incredibly talented agency, but you’re in fact extending your team and making the best possible decision for your business to meet your overall goals and objectives.
Red-Fern Can Help Your Business - FACT
So, now you’ve read about our changed approach and how we always delight our partners, it’s time for you to take the next step and see how we can help your business. Over the years, we’ve successfully worked within a vast range of industries with businesses of all sizes - there’s no limit to what our fantastic team of professionals can manage.
Whilst we may sound like we’re blowing our own trumpet, we’re just that confident that we’re the right agency to help your business grow. So, for more information on how we can help your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. One of our expert team members will be on hand to help answer any questions or alleviate any worries you may have had from dealings with previous agencies.
We’re here to help!