COVID-19 has forced marketing teams to rapidly adapt their communication and operational strategies to a work from home environment. With these highly collaborative teams forced to adapt to virtual methods how do they preserve productivity and inspire creativity? Join special guest Xenia Muntean, CEO of Planable, for a discussion about how effective teams are overcoming obstacles and achieving great success in a world of forced innovation and adaption.
Cyndi Greenglass: Where are you calling in from today?
Xenia Muntean: I'm calling from Romania, Eastern Europe.
Cyndi Greenglass: What are the biggest challenges for marketers and communicators working from home?
Xenia Muntean: I think the biggest struggle was for teams that had to suddenly go remote and didn't have any experience managing remote work. There are multiple struggles from just keeping in touch with the teams, trying to manage the social part and feel like the team and keeping updated with everything that is happening in the company. There are challenges around productivity, and around efficient collaboration. There's much more back and forth nowadays, trying to find stuff, trying to find work, trying to find files, trying to get access to information. While before, you could just approach someone at their desk, quickly ask a couple of questions and find your information in a much easier way.
Cyndi Greenglass: Have you found that there are some good collaboration hacks, ways that you have found companies have overcome some of these challenges?
Xenia Muntean: We had to go remote and work from home ourselves, and we've been talking with our own customers that had to suddenly adapt to the situation. We've heard a bunch of tips around how to make it work. I feel like the overall advice was just around communicating a lot. That sounds like very cliché advice. You've got to communicate at all times, not just during the pandemic, but, just trying to build this routine of regular communication with your team was probably one of the hardest things in a working from home environment. Something that we did was having daily check-ins on Slack. Trying to just give ourselves updates about the work, about the progress. Also, every Monday we were having meetings with the entire team, to just try to have everyone in the same place, and feel connected and up-to-date. There's a bunch of tools, nowadays. Slack, and Notion, and depending on what kind of work you do, there are collaboration tools for every single type of work out there. Also, trying to manage the team and manage the expectations they should have from this kind of transition is important. Make a plan in the beginning, I think that's what helped a lot, and that's what I've seen other agencies and other businesses out there doing. Also, just trying to be flexible and understanding with your team and their circumstances, I think that is extremely important for them to be productive as well.
Cyndi Greenglass: Tell us a little bit about the platform Planable and how are companies and brands using it.
Xenia Muntean: Planable is a collaboration platform for teams that are producing social media content. Before Planable, our clients were using a spreadsheet, an Excel file, to plan social media calendars. They would be able to collaborate in those editorial calendars, and then they would just go back and forth on that spreadsheet and try to make it work. In Planable, it's a very visual environment where they can visualize content, see exactly how it's going to look like in the end. Everyone working from home, I think it's even hard to collaborate on social media content. Before the lockdown, you just approached someone, look at their computer, and see exactly what they're planning for social, easier to collaborate from across the hall or from across the room. And now we offer a digital environment, a virtual environment, where they can gather feedback and discuss content for social.
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