Guest post by Lindsey Vontz, 99designs. Lindsey works in Organic Marketing and PR at 99designs. Lindsey was a brand manager for 10 years before joining 99designs. She also helped to launch an outdoor apparel company with her husband in 2013. Lindsey is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed through affordable branding and helpful marketing content. With technology that allows us face-to-face with colleagues around the globe, and apps that allow us to check in from anywhere in the world, we can communicate with them instantly. Tools that allow us to collaborate across time zones, allowing us to work together in a collaborative manner. Our product has always benefited greatly from this global approach, as we like to say. Our customers have access to millions of designers who are available 24 hours a days to help them with their design needs. Our platform can help you with any design needs, including a logo, tattoo, or business card. But, with all the benefits of a global marketplace, there are still challenges to overcome when working in a distributed team. 99designs’ marketing team is located in Melbourne, Berlin, and San Francisco Bay Area. We know how difficult it can be to collaborate with other teams around the globe. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to build trust among teammates without having those “water cooler” moments. We’ve spent the last year trying to find ways to improve the performance of our distributed marketing team. While there is always room for improvement, we believe we have a good rhythm. Here are our top 9 tips to help you make your global team work together. Tip #1: Tools are your friend
Most people can recall a time when communication tools between coworkers consisted of email and phone calls. However, most of us are over 25. Google Drive, Wunderlist and Evernote are now available. Collaboration with remote teams is easier than ever thanks to Slack, Google Drive, Wunderlist, Evernote and ActiveCollab. These tools are worth the investment, no matter what your distributed team needs to work together on. Kelly Morr, our Senior Content Strategist, says: “When there is less than an hour overlap in your workdays, the more technology can be used to extend your brain’s capabilities. Make the most of the time you have to connect with people: brainstorm, have discussions, and plan. Use tools for logistics and tracking. It’s easy to say “Hey Lindsey! Is XYZ done yet?” when you’re all together in the office. This can prove to be a huge pain in the arse if you live 8 hours apart. One small question can turn into an email. Hopefully, it gets answered. It is so much easier to have project tracking software that allows you to check a box when a job has been completed and links to a shared work document. Tip #2: Make sure to put the right information where it is needed.
It can be tempting to jump on the most advanced tool, but it is important to consider what you are sharing. If you’re anything like me, you may be using a number of collaboration tools at once. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the information. It can be helpful to establish guidelines for what information should be shared and how to follow up. It sounds like it’s time to send an email. Need a quick quest