These are strange times indeed.
COVID-19. It’s the pandemic that’s currently impacting every corner of the world. Billions of people are having to change the way they go about their lives. Rethinking everything from how they socialise to what they eat and, for many, how they run their brands.
With shutdowns happening everywhere and increasing calls for the population to self-isolate, a lot of companies are having to close their doors or ask their employees to work from home. Things are slowing down, businesses are taking stock. There’s no knowing when life will resume its regularly scheduled programming.
But there’s a silver lining.
While taking a breather has its drawbacks, it can actually provide great scope for you to assess your business afresh. Pay attention to aspects you may usually ignore. For instance, you could use this time to focus on your company’s engagements on social media. Or you could start coming up with campaigns for later in the year, instead of leaving it until the last minute (which we can all be guilty of!).
Look closely, and you’ll see that there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this change of pace – staying productive, even while staying inside. Here are our top suggestions for what you can do while working from home.
1) Share, engage, connect
The coronavirus is putting us through something as a collective and, in many ways, is forging a sense of community that we’re often missing. Especially online.
In that sense, there’s a real opportunity to connect with your target audience right now. Not only are many of us banding together in these uniquely trying times – a great deal of people are social distancing, staying indoors and working from home, too.
With all of these factors keeping us from the outside world and drawing us to our tech, your brand has plenty of chances to communicate with its target audience. Poetically put – the virtual floor is more yours than ever before!
So, reach for that thinking cap. Explore ideas that you can share, talk about, create or promote on your digital spaces. Speak to people. With all of us hungry for connection and looking for ways to pass the time, there’s a big, shiny window for you to up your brand’s communication game. Don’t squander it.
Top tip: Don’t feel like you have to approach this in a sales-focused manner. In fact, we’d recommend the opposite! A human crisis calls for a human response, so the more “human” you are in the way you connect, the better.
Rather than selling, you should focus on community-building. Help, inform and entertain, rather than exploit, those who are affected by the virus. The world needs stories right now.
2) Create more content
Along with sharing stories on your digital spaces, you might want to use your time working from home to consider your brand’s content.
That might sound a little general – but we mean it to! From your brand’s identity to editorial calendar, now’s your moment to sit back and examine how you approach content on a really granular level. Brilliant ideas come from focused effort, after all – and this is a prime opportunity to give your brand’s creative side the attention it deserves.
Perhaps you’ve been putting off experimenting with a new visual style on your Instagram feed. Or want to jazz up your logo. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about writing some posts for your company’s blog, but just haven’t been able to find a spare minute to do so.
Whatever content-centric tasks you’ve been putting off – bring them to the fore. By working on your content now, you’ll make sure your brand’s in brilliant shape by the time society returns to normal. Could there be a better use of your time? (We think not.)
Top tip: Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate! Reach out to artists, writers and strategists to see if there’s a way that they can contribute to your content plans. A lot of small businesses and freelancers might be having trouble finding work right now, so you’re bound to make many enthusiastic – and helpful – connections. Say hi!
3) Get organised
There’s nothing like the world being turned upside down to teach you more about yourself, don’t you agree?
Switching up your routine could highlight inefficiencies in how you work, providing valuable room for improvement. Perhaps you’ll learn that there are some meetings that really can happen over email, for instance. Or you might discover that you have peak times of working well – that you’re more of a morning bird than an evening owl – and can reshape your days accordingly.
Regardless of what they are or where they come from, pay attention to these insights! These are valuable lessons – and by taking note of what you’re feeling and what’s working for you, you’ll know how to optimise your environment when you return to the office. Handy.
Top tip: There are a whole host of digital tools that you can use while remote working. Apps like Slack and monday.com are probably already your friends, but you might want to entertain more comprehensive transitions, too. For instance, if you usually work off the Microsoft package, you could consider using Google Suite for now, so that you can more easily collaborate on projects with your teammates.
Further, if you’re using digital tools already, make sure you’re utilising everything they have to offer. Many have in-built functionality that’s been designed to help you streamline your processes. For instance, the social media scheduling tool Sprout Social allows you to tag your teammates in draft social posts. This alerts them to the folk that need to approve them before they’re published. As a result, you don’t have to chase them up – saving you a ton of time! Cool stuff.
Enjoy regular insights from the team at Jammy Bear over at our company blog. It’s pretty good (if we do say so ourselves).