For marketing professionals like me, 2020 has been one heck of a year. The normal way of working was disrupted and marketing plans had to be adjusted accordingly to the current developments surrounding COVID. Moreover, all events and congresses were held digitally, which lead to taking organization to a different dimension.
At the beginning of 2020, just before the pandemic reached a global scale, we at MediaLab were all working closely together in the office, with a lot of sparring sessions, quick coffees and lunches. Drawing the outlines of campaigns on white boards or creating processes with sticky notes, was just another day at the office. Now, most of us work permanently from home, until everything goes back to normal. However, what are we considering normal now? Are we going back to the way we worked before, or has this crisis brought forth some positive changes?
We believe that change is good and gave it a name: Working 2.1 (with a wink to the upcoming year 2021) and this is the marketing perspective.
Perks of working 2.1
The obvious advantages is not having to travel during rush hour, giving you a bit more time to get started in the morning. Besides that, I have my own supply of awesome coffee and the ability to do some chores during lunchtime.
Moreover, working the way we do now has increased productivity in my experience. Working together digitally does wonders for keeping track of process when it comes to projects, because everything needs to be very systematical. From meetings in the digital agenda, to lists and assigned responsibilities. This has made keeping up with deadlines easier and provides with a better overview of the bottlenecks of any project.
Downsides of working 2.1
Whilst working from the comfort of your own home is nice, it decreases creativity. Normally, when you are inspired, you could walk up to a colleague and grab a coffee to chat about an idea that just pops into your head. Now, you might get creative ideas during a chat, however, experience has shown that when you do this digitally, the idea does not get any shape or form from there and might get lost. Moreover, you do need a good working area at home to get the most out of your productive state.
Visiting your clients is also out of the question for now and all communications must go digitally. Sometimes, when working remote, this may lead to miscommunications or no time to extent a meeting, because the next call is awaiting you. Moreover, body language is hard to read through a screen, so interpreting the person opposite of you and get a feeling if they are content with the creative process is harder to tell.
Predictions for working 2.1
Whatever you prefer, fully remote or fully on location, both have their perks and disadvantages. However, innovative companies like Microsoft have already seen the effects of a hybrid way of working. Personally, for me this would also be the ideal situation. At the office, you can have quick chats and brainstorm more easily than at home, but when it comes to producing and efficiency (if your home area allows it at least), home office is the place to be.
What I would recommend is to be at the office at the designing phase of your marketing campaigns to pick your colleagues’ brains and get inspiration and when it comes to the creation part, work from home to take full advantage of your concentration. As long COVID allows this of course.
My marketing toolkit for working 2.1: