The industry’s post-pandemic resurgence has brought back everything from live events to in-person networking. With the wedding boom (finally!) starting to quell, many event pros are settling back into their routines. Yet, for many businesses, one underlying shift remains a part of the “new normal”: remote work.
There are countless benefits to remote work. For one, employees are often more productive when provided with flexible arrangements. A better work/life balance also boosts morale across the board. Pair a happy team with the cost savings of a virtual workspace, and it’s hard to argue for the traditional in-person, 9-5 setting.
And with coworking spaces and meeting room rentals on the rise, many event pros have settled into a comfortable hybrid approach to collaborative work.
But doing client work remotely isn’t the same as leading a team remotely. While you might churn out timelines and floorplans on the go, it’s not as simple to oversee shared projects and manage staff from a distance. As your team grows, so does your leadership role — and it’s vital to use technology to support an efficient and supportive work environment for all.
If you (and your team) appreciate the idea of remote work, aim to harness the power of technology in these five ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged.
Communicate Openly – and Often
Your team needs to know that you’re readily available to answer questions and point them in the right direction. While it might be as easy as a knock on the door in an office, remote leaders must be more intentional about making themselves accessible. Whether it’s a weekly standup call on Zoom, an organized Slack channel, or an open invitation to text, make sure your team knows how and when they can reach you.
It’s important to note that technology can sometimes lead to overcommunication, especially on the leader’s side. It’s important to check in with your team, but be mindful to avoid micromanaging their work. Expecting hourly updates can become taxing on your team and your schedule. Trust them to do what you hired them to do!
Provide the Necessary Tools and Resources
You might not be available to your team every moment, but that doesn’t mean they should be left upstream without a paddle. By providing them with the tools they need to succeed independently, you’ll free up more of your time while empowering them to take ownership of their responsibilities.
Countless tech tools can support your team’s autonomy, including:
- Shared password vaults to streamline logins
- Project management software to provide instructions and deadlines
- A folder of templates and SOPs for rinse-and-repeat tasks
- Cloud storage plans that let you share files quickly and securely
Reduce Overload with Automation
It gets overwhelming when tasks pile up on your plate — that’s likely why you hired a team in the first place. But reducing your workload at the expense of your team isn’t a sustainable long-term solution! Otherwise, you’ll end up with employees struggling with burnout and decreased productivity.
Support your team by implementing automation to your existing workflows. Programs like Zapier and Workato are useful for cross-connecting apps but don’t overlook the tools hidden in the software you already use. A client management platform (CRM) like Rock Paper Coin helps simplifies payments and contracts and streamlines them all in one place. Many CRM’s, email marketing, social media, and project management platforms offer native automation features that can save you—and your team—from unnecessary headaches.
Encourage Continued Training and Education
The best leaders fuel their employees’ career development because they value company-wide growth. When your team is better, your business is better! Consider how you can provide educational resources that align with your company goals and core values. For instance, you may choose to invest in a DEI training course if your mission is to demonstrate more inclusivity throughout your business.
There are many channels for virtual education, so think about where your team needs the most support. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune, either. It could be as simple as sharing an insightful podcast episode on Slack or registering your team for a free webinar on a topic of interest. Get creative!
Embrace Tech as a Tool for Connection and Growth
Technology isn’t an excuse to step back and let algorithms run your team. Instead, consider it a valuable ally in your leadership responsibilities and let it serve to simplify everyone’s roles. When leading remotely, it’s essential for you to feel connected to your team (and vice versa), so don’t overlook the power of technology when it comes to creating a collaborative digital environment.
Nora Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. She is also the founder and lead wedding planner of award-winning firm Bridal Bliss. In addition to recognition by Portland Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021.