Navigating The Work-From-Home Culture

While work-from-home options have been with us for some time, the past few years have brought the discussion front and center for every company, large or small. Even now, the echoes of our abrupt paradigm shift to a predominately remote workforce are still with us. How does it apply to your company today?

remote work transition

As with every cloud, there is a silver lining. Chances are, the necessities of working in a virtual world drove the creation of workflows and technology that enabled your business functions to continue in the chaos. Here at Grapevine, we have been working virtually (partial or fully remote) for over a decade. There are definite pros and cons, depending on your business model. Even now, many companies are struggling with the question of “what now?” Do you continue with a largely remote workforce, or do you come back to your brick and mortar roots? Here are some insights from our own experience and work with a variety of clients from across industries.

Think of the current period as a clean slate, an opportunity to weigh pros and cons of remote vs. on-site business operations. Examine your business efficiencies and bottom line, allowing for any ramp up time to convert workers and operations to a remote configuration. What works better for your company? What suffers? What is essentially a neutral? Dig down to the specific positions and their role within the company. Some may lend themselves easily to remote work. Others, especially more customer-facing or collaborative, may be more challenged.

It’s also important to look at what’s changed in your business set up. Do you still maintain office space? If not, what will it take for you to re-establish a physical presence? Generally speaking, virtual operations don’t carry the costs or overhead, so it will be important to weigh these carefully.

Then consider your employees. You may think you have a clear picture, but the perspective from their vantage point will likely provide insight you may find extremely helpful.  A great beginning point here is to ask for their thoughts and perspective on what they think is working, what isn’t working, and why. 

Also, bear in mind that not all employees come with the same skill sets or motivations. While remote work may actually increase efficiency and productivity for some, others may find it more challenging and demotivating. How do you want to address this? One possibility is to have a range of options for employees from fully remote to spending some days onsite to fully onsite. This can be by position, or seniority, or could be offered as an option subject to certain performance provisions.

There are no “right” or “wrong” answers here, but given our remote capabilities, this is an opportunity to affirmatively weigh company and worker needs to arrive at operational solutions that make sense given all the variables. And of course, nothing is set in stone. It is perfectly understandable to try something and subsequently decide it doesn’t work as you anticipated. The keys are internal communication, transparency, and accountability.

If you are using a full or partial remote workforce solution, here are some tips that will help it be as successful as possible:

  • Set guidelines and expectations around the workday in writing. This should include expected availability during the day and being present for specified meeting times.
  • Help your employees assess their own at-home capabilities. What tools should they have? What should their workspace look like?
  • If you have a highly collaborative work environment, build in time for interaction. At some companies, teams set up a virtual “coffee time” – a dedicated time for people to video chat and catch up on their day.
  • Give some helpful tips on separating work from home. Too many of us fall into the trap of multi-tasking across work and home tasks. Urge your people to refrain from folding laundry on their work time, and, conversely, not to stay glued to their email after work hours are over. Having dedicated work hours away from the many distractions of home helps when it’s time to leave work at the end of the day. You’ll all get more done with much less stress.
  • Don’t consider commuting time as part of your expected work hours. Your employees will appreciate the flexibility to attend to home or personal needs during this time.

Above all, stress to your people that your business is a joint venture, and the only constant will be working together to reassess and change as needed. If the past few years taught us nothing else, they reinforced our ability to adapt and pivot to meet an unexpected reality. If we can survive and thrive through such a demanding time, we can be confident when it comes to employing all we’ve learned to take on future challenges. 

Create a Twitter Account From Your Smartphone or Tablet

Are you ready to get on board with Twitter? Capture those memorable moments, photos, and videos from your next event, and jump into the conversation with other event attendees? Here are the simple step-by-step directions to setting up your Twitter account and getting started right from your smartphone or tablet. You will be tweeting in no time!

Are you ready?

How To: Include Social Media Buttons & Sharing in Email Marketing

One of the best ways to expand the reach and visibility of your email marketing campaigns is to provide an easy way for your audience to promote and share your content with THEIR friends and social communities. And in addition to sharing your content with their communities, you’ll also want your email audience to be able to easily interact with your brand, on your organization’s own social media profiles.

In the below video, we’ll show you how to easily add ‘share on social’ and ‘join our community’-style social media buttons and links to your email templates in order to improve BOTH your email marketing and social media results.

Once you’ve viewed the video, be sure to share this blog post with your own communities by clicking any of the social media icons below!

 

 

 

Add and Edit Images on Wordpress Blog Post

Congratulations, you’ve created your first (or several) blog posts on your Wordpress blog, and now you’re ready to add and edit the images that will create a visual impact for your blog or website.

We’ve created this brief video tutorial to help you through the process of embedding and editing photos or other images on your Wordpress blog, and hope that you find it helpful. You can also use this same process to add and update images on any page of your Wordpress CMS website, but keep in mind that you would access those areas via the ‘pages’ link in your dashboard, and not the ‘posts’ link.

For additional resources and information, be sure to visit the ‘how-to’ category on our blog, or contact our team for more specific needs.

How To Upload a Video Online

Before you embed a video on your website or blog, or share it on your social media channels, you should first upload the video directly to a video site like YouTube. This way, you don’t need to host the video on your website directly, which could slow down your page load times.

You will also get a search engine boost from having your video indexed on a high-traffic video hosting site, and you will have access to a number of additional sharing and conversational opportunities (ie: from people liking, commenting on, and sharing your video directly from YouTube, and from those made aware of your video due to YouTube’s video recommendations feature) beyond what can be achieved by your website or blog alone.

Here is a brief video tutorial showing how to quickly and easily upload your video to YouTube so that you can share it online. Enjoy, and we hope to see your videos soon!