In response to the global threat posed by COVID-19, many companies are asking their employees to work from home. What processes and tools do content teams need to have in place in order to ensure efficient operations?
Vojtech BorilPublished on Mar 17, 2020
The beauty of working in the digital world is that we no longer need to sit out the working hours—the only thing that matters is the outcome of our work. In the last decade, we’ve seen rapid growth in remote work (or telecommuting) across all modern digital companies. As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson say in their book Rework, “You don’t even need an office. Today you can work from home or collaborate with people you’ve never met who live thousands of miles away.”
Research by Global Workplace Analytics shows that “regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce.” And when respondents in another research were asked if they would like to work remotely for at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, 99% of them said yes, which is a powerful response. Remote work is a growing trend that has many benefits, especially flexibility.
As the current coronavirus situation evolves rapidly, companies are directing hundreds of their employees to work remotely. Many organizations may face challenges resulting from not having processes in place. Marketing and content teams are no exception. In fact, the potential economic slowdown may even increase the importance of marketing—and as always, those who adapt the fastest will prevail.
As VP of Marketing, I need to manage my team remotely these days, so let me share my view on how Content as a Service (CaaS) helps us keep getting things done on time. I’ve seen marketing teams reluctant to use a headless CMS since they are by design very developer focused. CaaS, on the other hand, provides marketers with a more robust suite of content operation features while still giving technical teams all the headless CMS benefits.
How CaaS Helps Marketing Leaders and Project Managers
If you’re a marketing leader, you may agree that one of the common challenges of managing remote teams is having a clear overview of who is working on what and when and, most importantly, keep getting things done on time. Let’s look at what benefits CaaS offers to project managers in comparison to traditional CMSs.
Setting up the right permissions and workflows is a key
CaaS allows you not only to monitor what your team members are working on in a single interface but also limit particular workflow steps to only a few roles (thanks to the rich workflow settings). This approach enables you to set up truly granular permissions so that each of your team members can access only the content they should be working on.
Assign work to your team members
Assigning work to people in traditional CMSs is practically impossible. One essentially needs to use external project management tools. It’s different with CaaS—you can assign content or tasks to your team members, and they get an automated notification right away about their assignment.
Reviewing and approving content
Collaborating with your content writers is easy. As soon as they have some content ready for review, the CaaS platform (in our case, we “dogfood” Kentico Kontent, of course) sends you an automated notification that there is a content item waiting for your review.
If you have some comments, suggestions, or concerns, you can insert them directly in the text via built-in Suggestion Mode and Comments and mention specific users to make sure the suggested change reaches them. Using these collaboration features extremely improves your productivity—all the magic happens in one single place as you do not need to save any files and send it via emails or Slack.
Automated versioning = priceless!
When you look at revisions—sometimes it’s just hard to track what the latest content version is or who accidentally removed the critical paragraph... Not with CaaS, since it supports infinite versioning automatically! It allows you to go back in the version history, see which author made each change, and retrieve any previous version in no time!
How CaaS Helps Content Writers and Contributors Stay on Track
Now, I’d like to share some features of CaaS that I’ve come to appreciate and expect other content writers will benefit from.
Find what you should be working on in the content item
When you’re working from home, without your colleagues sitting next to you and talking about the current tasks, it might be difficult to keep track of what content needs your immediate attention. Fortunately, a CaaS platform such as Kontent shows you where your colleagues included you as a contributor in the Assigned to you tab, plus you can clearly see the date when the item is due. And if you prefer a content calendar view, you can see what is in progress and what content is lacking behind the deadline without leaving your CMS interface!
Stay in the working flow—collaborate with other team members in a single platform
Thanks to Suggestions, you can suggest changes to the selected text and save the author of the content piece a bit of time since all they have to do is just click and approve the change—no need to copy and paste text from a comment. However, you might find Comments useful when you want to make sure that the information in an article comes from reliable sources, ask the author to expand on the topic, or share your ideas on how the piece can be improved.
Another thing that content writers find really useful is AutoSave. Without having to remember that you need to click the Save button every now and then, you can focus solely on creating content. The fewer distractions there will be, the more productive you’ll become.
To stay productive, most people need clear deadlines they can stick to. And if it looks like you’re about to miss a deadline, you’ll be automatically reminded via email that the content item is due in one day (to give an example). All these features enable you to collaborate with your team members even when you’re required to work remotely, and they ensure you’ll get the job done.
Check that everything is done before publishing
You can also use Tasks as release checklists before publishing to make sure everything is done (such as filling out metadata, assigning the right dates, or linking content). We’re going to release this brand-new Task Management in a few weeks, and if you’d like to see how this feature is going to speed up collaboration even more, you can watch this recording of our webinar during which we showed Tasks to some of our customers:
Improving content reviews with Task Management
Work Effectively Wherever You Are, Whenever You Want
There are many areas in which CaaS is different from traditional CMSs. When working remotely, you definitely need to collaborate effectively with your colleagues—and the collaboration capabilities which I’ve described in this article are what really distinguishes CaaS from other content management systems.
Nevertheless, there are also other native capabilities of the Content-as-a-Service platform that I’ve come to appreciate when working remotely. These complicated times show, more than ever, how advantageous it is to use a true SaaS for our content operations. I do not need to worry about any CMS upgrades or hotfixes, and, most importantly, my team members always have secure access to our CMS on any device thanks to SSO and MFA in place.
I hope that this article shed some light on how you can collaborate with your content marketing teams even if you’re required to work from home. Feel free to share your experience with remote work in CMSs in the comments below!