Remote working content teams, particularly those with a lean structure, encounter distinct challenges that can impact their efficiency and productivity. Identifying and addressing 'waste' – activities or processes that do not contribute value – is essential for maintaining a streamlined workflow in such environments. This article explores common waste issues in remote working environments and offers practical solutions.
In 2023, around 27% of U.S. employees work remotely, and 16% of U.S companies are fully remote. Remote working is believed to offer significant advantages in terms of flexibility, cost savings, and access to a diverse talent pool. However, content managers need to be vigilant. A decrease in content delivery, productivity, or emerging conflicts could indicate waste in the working process.
ContentGrip has summarized the four most common wastes in content teams with remote working and possible solutions to overcome them.
Overcommunication and micromanagement
In remote settings, the absence of physical cues often leads to overcommunication and micromanagement. Managers might feel the need to constantly check in, leading to a flood of emails and meetings, which can be counterproductive.
Addressing communication issues involves more than just applying 'clear and concise' communication. The first step is to build trust among content managers and their teams.
By granting team members autonomy and decision-making authority, you foster a vital component in remote working teams: trust. This not only boosts the confidence of team members but also minimizes the need for constant oversight by content managers.
After establishing trust within the team, it's time to document these protocols. Communicate these protocols as your company’s playbook or announce them in virtual meetings between managers or stakeholders. This approach ensures that only essential communications take place, reducing unnecessary interactions.
Implement regular, structured check-ins to replace constant monitoring. These sessions provide opportunities for updates and feedback without disrupting daily workflows.
Remote teams often struggle with workflow inefficiencies, including redundant steps in content creation or approval processes that delay output and consume valuable time. Crisis times, requiring quick decision-making but bound by strict regulations, can exacerbate these inefficiencies.
To streamline processes efficiently, stakeholders or content managers need to optimize workflows by identifying bottlenecks and eliminating redundant steps.
For instance, if content is stuck in back-and-forth revisions, it may be time to restructure the workflow to include more accountable decision-makers. This might involve redefining roles or adopting more efficient content management systems, such as using a RACI chart to identify key decision-makers.
Project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Jira can help organize tasks and track progress. However, for lean content teams, operating such tools can be overwhelming.
ContentGrow may be an ideal choice for an all-in-one solution to manage team content. It can assist in finding top journalists in their fields while simultaneously offering features to enhance productivity. This includes creating AI-supported briefs, assigning journalists, managing pitches, and handling payments.
However, regular assessments of processes are crucial, requiring consistent review and adjustment of workflows. Strategies effective today might not remain efficient in the future.
Misalignment of skills and tasks
A significant waste in lean content teams is the underutilization of team members' skills. When talents are not matched with appropriate tasks, it leads to inefficiencies and demotivation.
Conduct regular skills assessments and resource allocation to understand each team member's strengths and allocate tasks accordingly. This ensures that everyone is working on projects that align with their skills.
Invest in training programs to enhance team skills. This addresses current inefficiencies and prepares the team for future challenges.
We've discussed how a lack of tools can lead to inefficient processes, but relying on inappropriate or an excessive number of digital tools can also complicate processes.
Select tools specifically suited to your team's needs. Avoid the temptation of using every new tool that hits the market. Ensure that all team members are proficient in using the selected tools. Provide necessary training and support to facilitate smooth operation.
For example, ContentGrow always provides dedicated onboarding training to content buyers to maximize their content creation process. The support is not only at the beginning but also on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that technology evolves rapidly. Assess if the current tools meet the team's needs or if upgrades are required.
Save time and money when producing high-quality bespoke content for your markets. ContentGrow helps marketing teams work with perfectly matched content creators at preferred rates. Sign up to get your campaign started or book a quick call with our team to learn more.