Remote Rolls On

We’re nearly a year into the era of virtual work. What have we figured out? What still needs fixing? And what can marketing leaders do about it? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • In general, working from home has worked out better than expected. A late 2020 survey conducted by PWC found that 83% of US-based employers feel the shift to remote work has been successful for their company.
  • We’re seeing all kinds of side effects, though. For one thing, employees are “blowing the whistle on their employers like never before”.
  • Most of us would agree that exposing bad corporate behaviour is a good thing. But trust within organizations is also declining in some more general (and worrisome) ways.
  • But the challenges with virtual meetings don’t stop with fatigue. Studies have long shown that jobs requiring close collaboration (like marketing) are particularly difficult remotely.
  • Creativity (also critical to marketing) is tricky, too. Jerry Seinfeld (of all people) sums the problem up this way: “Energy, attitude and personality cannot be ‘remoted’ through even the best fiber optic line.”
  • Though maybe it’s less about the quality of the fiber optic line and more about what you do with it? That’s the premise fuelling a raft of new tech solutions designed to fix virtual meetings.
  • Some—like Teamflow and Branch—seek to recreate the chance encounters of office life, creating virtual offices with personal desks, common areas and conference rooms.
  • Others, like Mmmhmmm, seek to make virtual presentations less flat and more lively.
  • Sometimes the right solution comes from old tech, not new. How about a simple phone call instead of more Zoom?
  • Or do you need a meeting at all? This handy chart from NOBL can help you make right call.
Issue #112
Feb 21, 2021

Further Reading