For all intents and purposes, 2020 was an earth-shattering year that changed how the corporate world interacted with its target audience and client base. The COVID-19 global pandemic has shifted the working world’s emphasis from face-to-face, in-office work to remote work using the Internet as the primary business driver and digital communication tools such as Zoom and Google Chat to communicate with both colleagues and clients.
As with most elements of navigating living in a global pandemic caused by an extremely infectious novel coronavirus, working from home or remotely has its struggles; digital marketers and SEO Sydney experts are no different. They, along with millions of other people, are still adjusting to working from home. It can be challenging to adjust to working from home (WFH) and learn to deal with the heightened anxiety and stress levels caused by watching the SARS-CoV-2 virus race through global communities. Consequently, it can be challenging to maximize productivity levels while dealing with these new external circumstances.
Additionally, SEOs and digital marketers, in general, have had to change their marketing models and best practices to attract a mostly online target audience. Suffice to say; the good news is that new measuring, tracking monitoring, and automation tools have been developed and brought to market, saving SEOs time by automating repetitive manual tasks. But these digital marketing-specific tools are not the only productivity-enhancing tools available for SEOS; there are other software applications, providing the SEO with the best chance of maintaining productivity levels and standards while working remotely.
Let’s expand on this statement by considering 5 of the top remote WFH tools to help digital marketers continue to deliver a consistently high-quality service to their clients.
1. Use a secure, encrypted network
The challenge of working from home is that most home WIFI networks are not secure. By default, routers are set to WPS (WIFI Protected Setup); however, it is recommended that this setting is changed to WPA or WPA2 (WIFI Protected Access). This security protocol requires clients to enter an 8 to 63 letter key or passphrase. However, this is not enough. The router security protects all traffic and devices connected to the home network on the “insider of the router.” All external traffic from the router outwards is not encrypted.
In order to solve this challenge, it is essential to set up a secure tunnel using a VPN that will hide all traffic and data sent between the home network and the World Wide Web. In summary, the VPN architecture will improve the digital marketer’s productivity levels by reducing the risk of being hacked and data being stolen, especially when working on a client’s website.
Along with a VPN, another important tool would be a communication encryption service such as ecc sky. This is especially useful for remote workers who exchange a lot of sensitive information during their working hours.
2. Use a project management tool
One of the challenges of working from home is managing the relationship between the client and the digital marketer. Emails are not necessarily the best way to manage the list of tasks that need to be done. Statistics show that 293.6 billion emails are sent and received daily. As a result, maintaining a to-do list via email is not the best way to remain productive.
The good news is that there are several project-management tools available in the marketplace. Trello is an excellent choice because it organizes your projects and tasks into boards. You can see which tasks have been completed and which tasks are outstanding quickly, smoothly, and efficiently.
3. Use a team collaboration and communication tool
A second challenge that remote workers face, including the digital marketer, is that individual workers are always part of a team, irrespective of whether the team members are all full-time employees or whether the company employs some, and others are freelancers. And for team leaders, effectively managing a remote workforce is important because team members need to communicate regularly and frequently. Phone calls, Zoom, or Skype calls are not ideal because they can become disruptive when individual team members are expected to stop what they are doing and take a call. Email is also not a good idea because, as described above, sorting through the sheer volume of emails received daily is time-consuming.
What is the solution?
Enter Slack, an “instant messaging, remote office communication tool for teams and remote workers.” It also includes team management features like assigning team members to channels, collaborating with other team members, and sharing files in a centralized location.
4. Use a video conferencing tool
There are times when a face-to-face meeting with a client and other team members is necessary. By definition, remote work or working from home in a pandemic excludes the ability to call an in-person face-to-face meeting with all the relevant parties.
The good news is that there are useful, robust, secure video conferencing tools like Zoom available to hold a virtual meeting with all of the role players. As an aside, while there are other video conferencing tools, Zoom’s specialty is that it facilitates a large meeting with many delegates at once.
5. Employ a productivity and reporting tool
Amid a hectic workday, it is sometimes easy to lose track of what must be done. Consequently, productivity levels inadvertently dropped without the digital marketer, realizing that this happened.
The solution to this challenge is to utilize a productivity and reporting tool like Focus Booster. Its primary aim is to monitor and track productivity levels by implementing its simple Pomodoro feature, which keeps focus on a single task. Additionally, it also has a reporting function that provides insight into the time spent on tasks to maximize productivity by an understanding of how the working hours were spent.
Undoubtedly, adjusting to a WFH lifestyle is challenging under the circumstances, notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the way we live. However, it is possible to work from home successfully, utilizing some or all of the tools listed above.