Erin Lindsay, Author at Blog Wrike
Please enter your email
Server error. We're really sorry. Wait a few minutes and try again.
Erin Lindsay

Erin Lindsay

Best Workflow Software & Tools for Process Management (2022)
Project Management 10 min read

Best Workflow Software & Tools for Process Management (2022)

An effective workflow management system streamlines tasks and increases employee productivity. Read more about workflow management tools with Wrike.

How to Create an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy (Infographic)
Marketing 3 min read

How to Create an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy (Infographic)

Think about how many devices and platforms you use a day. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, social media apps, emails — the list goes on. And on each and every one of these platforms lies an opportunity for a marketing campaign to reach you — to speak to you in your language and find out what makes you tick. An omnichannel marketing strategy is an integrated approach to digital marketing, where customers are served at every stage of their buyer journey, no matter where they spend their time. Chances are, you’ve experienced omnichannel marketing many times when searching for something to buy. If you’ve ever entered a store and gotten a notification from that store’s app while browsing or seen an ad for a product just after visiting its brand website, you’ve caught a glimpse of omnichannel marketing in action. The benefits of a great omnichannel marketing strategy are vast, including: Increased brand retention and loyalty Improved brand recall Increased revenue Better customer targeting While creating an omnichannel marketing strategy that works for your brand may sound complex, these five steps make the entire process easier. Use technology to your advantage and get to know your customers with our step-by-step guide.

Earth Day 2022: 5 Ways for Your Hybrid Work Model to Be More Eco-Friendly
Remote Working 5 min read

Earth Day 2022: 5 Ways for Your Hybrid Work Model to Be More Eco-Friendly

As spring has finally sprung and we can get back to enjoying nature that little bit more, our planet is at the forefront of our minds. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet” — a fitting frame of mind for approaching our business models this year and beyond. The threat of global warming to our planet’s wellbeing is becoming more and more apparent. According to the latest IPCC report on climate change, approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in environments that are highly vulnerable to climate change. We need to avoid the global temperature rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius, as this would cause “unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans.”  According to earthday.org, to avoid this rise in temperature, we need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We can all play our parts in this effort, and whether you’re an office manager, a team leader, or a CEO, there are plenty of ways to drive down your workplace’s carbon footprint.  As more and more businesses move to a hybrid work model, we’ve gathered five ways to encourage your hybrid workforce to be more environmentally friendly. Encourage hybrid work While some of your teammates may be embracing the hybrid work model, many others may find it hard to break from their traditional schedules. The first step in making your hybrid workplace more eco-friendly is to encourage hybrid working in the first place, as it holds huge benefits for your carbon footprint. Less air and noise pollution from commuting cars, less single-use plastic from breakfasts and lunches, less energy waste from office buildings — the eco-benefits of working from home stack up quickly. While there can be some debate as to whether working from home really cuts carbon emissions with heating and energy costs, the consensus is that it is far preferable to commuting to work, with one study even finding that net carbon emission reductions of 77% can be achieved from working at home. Trial an equipment sharing model One of the benefits of a hybrid working model is that office equipment does not need to be supplied and replaced at such a high rate. Tech turnover can have massive eco-implications, from the mining for materials to the e-waste produced when a piece of equipment needs to be retired. Set up an equipment sharing model with your hybrid workplace, and see how much technology can be shared or saved by staying at home. For example, if a team member has their own computer suitable for work use, offer an incentive for them to use this, rather than request a new laptop.  Avoid doling out new technology just for the sake of it. Many of your employees may not need a company phone to do their work, for example, while others may work fine without extras like headsets or external hard drives.  If one or more of your employees work part-time or flexible hours, investigate whether they could share their equipment on a rotational basis, passing it between them on the days they need it.  Measure office power usage When your teammates do work from the office, there is an opportunity to reduce the amount of power your building uses. Research when your office has the highest capacity, and see if you can reduce the power consumption in off-peak hours.  For example, there should never be a need for your office to have full power on overnight. You can also invest in light sensors and LED bulbs, which are both great ways to reduce the need for constant power usage.  Depending on the size of your organization, you may be able to switch to a greener energy source for the entire office, such as solar or wind power. Talk to your office manager or the leadership team and state your case for why this investment could be worthwhile.  Set up a recycling drive Making an effort to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a chore. There are plenty of ways to turn your efforts into fun, team-building activities for your team.  Why not organize a recycling drive or a local area clean-up for your employees to mingle and do some volunteer work? You could also organize a clothes swap or a furniture flipping competition to let your workers see how going green can be fun and fashionable.  Getting everyone involved is key to ensuring your eco-efforts go the distance, and it’s a great excuse to get together outside of work.  Offer green incentives If you currently operate a rewards system in your workplace, why not offer more green perks and incentives to your best-performing employees? There are plenty of eco-friendly swag items to choose from, like reusable coffee cups or water bottles, compostable phone cases, or clothing and tote bags made from recycled materials. Go the extra mile and offer these items at your next event or conference, and make your mark as an eco-conscious company.  Find the right software for your team to stay connected While working from home, it’s crucial that your employees have the tools they need to collaborate and be productive so that we can all reap the benefits of less time commuting.  A collaborative work management system like Wrike allows your team to work together from anywhere. With features like real-time proofing and approvals, over 400 app integrations, customizable workflows and views, and robust security features, it’ll be like you never left the office. Find out more with a free two-week trial. 

What Is Swarming in Agile and How Can It Boost Productivity?
Project Management 5 min read

What Is Swarming in Agile and How Can It Boost Productivity?

For Agile teams, flexibility is the name of the game. Team members are always prepared to change focus or alter their working style to achieve the best results for their project. And this flexibility works in their favor — the 2018 Standish Group Chaos Study results showed that Agile projects are statistically twice as likely to succeed than Waterfall projects. Agile methodologies, tools, and processes have seen a significant boost in organizations worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic, with adoption doubling in non-IT teams between 2020 and 2021.  Agile’s flexibility and adaptability have proven crucial to modern project management, so it can feel odd to imagine Agile teams focusing their sole attention on one task. But that’s exactly what a new concept, swarming in Agile, does — and it can prove essential in managing fast-moving projects. In this article, we’ll explore the swarming Agile definition, examples of how to succeed with swarming, and the advantages and disadvantages of this technique.  What is swarming in Agile? Let’s start off with a swarming Agile definition. Agile swarming takes place when multiple team members with available time and appropriate skill sets all direct their attention to work together on one feature or user story, i.e., they swarm the task until it is complete. The goal is to deliver high-quality results quickly by directing all available people power until the feature is up to scratch. Agile swarming is a very useful technique for fast-moving projects, as targets of swarming can be finished quickly before smoothly moving on to the next priority. Kanban teams are especially likely to use swarming, as it helps them ensure workflows are continuous and maintain Work-in-Progress (WIP) limits. Swarming is also closely linked to Scrum. Evaluating the tasks in their team’s sprint backlog and swarming a top priority item is a skill that most Scrum teams will be used to applying to their projects. Example of an Agile swarming scenario To visualize how swarming in Agile works, let’s take an example where it could be used. Imagine a large organization that has suffered an IT systems failure that affects most of its departments. The IT team needs to focus on fixing the problem to get the system back up and running for the rest of the business. Swarming enables teams to engage in cross-functional collaboration, meaning that every team member can play to their strengths to get the issue fixed as soon as possible.  In this scenario, that may look like the marketing team engaging with IT to get regular updates on the situation to relay to the business’s website and social media visitors. Those in sales may work with IT to reschedule their calls and meetings with clients or use an alternative system to engage with them. Employees in other departments will redirect their usual queries and tasks away from IT, allowing them to focus fully on fixing the issue at hand. In this way, swarming allows the entire organization to band together, getting tasks done quickly and efficiently.  Advantages of swarming in Agile So, what are some of the advantages of swarming in Agile?  Time-saving: The most obvious advantage of swarming is that it saves valuable time for Agile teams. When multiple team members are involved in completing the same task, it reduces the potential for reworks and edits down the line. Encourages collaboration: If your teams have been struggling to work cross-functionally, swarming may be a great exercise in encouraging them to collaborate effectively. Workers come together from various backgrounds to work on a common goal, allowing each team member to gain an insight into the others’ way of working.  Increased quality: Having workers from many different teams reviewing work means that the target of your swarm will be of higher quality than if just one person was proofing the final result. Potential challenges of swarming in Agile However, as with any approach to project management, there are potential disadvantages to swarming in Agile. These could include: Disorganization: The saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” can often apply to swarming in Agile. If there are too many team members multitasking at once, processes can get messy, and the overall project may become derailed due to a lack of organization.  Potential for conflict: With so many people from different teams suddenly forced to work together, it’s natural that conflict may arise when working with swarming. Managers should be aware of this and be ready to act if and when conflict occurs. Not suitable for every task: Swarming is a great method for overall goal-oriented work, like an entirely new user story. But swarming is not a suitable method for every single task in a project’s life cycle. Resources should be better dispersed and teams should keep in mind that staying goal-focused, not task-focused, is the key to swarming success. How to succeed in Agile swarming with Wrike Wondering how your work management platform can help with swarming in your organization? An all-in-one solution like Wrike can be invaluable in bringing a fast-moving project to completion. Wrike offers: Agile templates, including sprint planning and Kanban projects, so that your team can hit the ground running with every new project Unified communication tools, including @mentions and over 400 app integrations, for your team to update and collaborate instantly 360° visibility, including team dashboards and shared calendars, so that your team can see exactly where your efforts are needed and prioritize with ease Interested? Try Wrike for yourself with a two-week free trial.

Infographic: Here’s Why Wrike was so Highly Rated at this Quarter’s G2 Awards
News 3 min read

Infographic: Here’s Why Wrike was so Highly Rated at this Quarter’s G2 Awards

It’s not every day that we receive an award, but to receive a number of accolades from G2 is a real honor for all of us at Wrike. For G2’s Q3 awards, Wrike won 63 badges across 15 categories and was named as “Highly Rated” in 12 areas, including project management software, workflow management software, marketing resource management software, and many more.  Which G2 awards did Wrike win this quarter? Here’s a list of badges Wrike was awarded by G2 this quarter: Easiest To Do Business With — Enterprise Project Collaboration and Enterprise Task Management Best Usability — Enterprise Project Collaboration Best Relationship —Enterprise Project Collaboration Leader —  Time Tracking, Bug Tracking, Product Management, Project Management Leader (Mid-Market) — Marketing Resource Management, Work Management, Project Management, Task Management, Project Collaboration, Marketing Calendar, Product Management and Time Tracking Leader — Marketing Resource Management, Online Proofing, Workflow Management, Project Collaboration, Work Management, Time Tracking, Marketing Calendar, Task Management, Project Management, Bug Tracking, Product Management, and CRM Leader (Enterprise) — Task Management, Project Collaboration, Project Management, Bug Tracking, and Time Tracking Easiest Admin (Mid-Market) — Work Management Leader (Small-Business) — Workflow Management, Work Management, Product Management, Project Collaboration, Bug Tracking, Project Management, and Time Tracking Best Meets Requirements (Mid-Market) — Marketing Resource Management, Task Management, Work Management, Online Proofing, Project Collaboration, Workflow Management, Product Management, Bug Tracking, Project Management, Time Tracking, and CRM Highest User Adoption (Enterprise) — Task Management and Project Collaboration Highest User Adoption (Mid-Market) — Project Collaboration High Performer (Mid-Market) — CRM Users Love Us  You can read all about the badges and categories where Wrike scored big in our dedicated blog post, but we wanted to break down what makes Wrike so popular and efficient for our users. At Wrike, our mission is to help you and your organization do the best work of your lives — no matter your industry,  project, or location. The fact that our G2 award nods span multiple categories is a big deal to us — it means that customers from all industries are using Wrike to their advantage, and loving the results. So, what is it about Wrike that makes it such a dynamic solution for teams around the world? We’ve gathered some vital stats about how Wrike helps its users, from decreasing email times to increasing communication, and saving costs and hours in projects across the board. Interested? Take a look at our infographic to discover more.

The 4 Values and 12 Principles of Agile Project Management
Project Management 10 min read

The 4 Values and 12 Principles of Agile Project Management

When embarking on a new project at work, it’s important to have a structure in place to guide your project to success. A plan is important, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily, there are lots of tried and tested approaches to project management out there for you to choose from — these are called methodologies, and many are grouped into different families for organizations to use.  Agile methodologies are some of the most popular approaches to project management, and if you’re wondering why, the clue is in the name — Agile methodologies allow project managers to be nimble and flexible, adapt to challenges as they arise, and pivot quickly to the most successful way of working.  There’s a lot to understand about Agile project management to use it effectively in your organization. In this piece, we’ll cover what Agile is, the fundamental Agile values and principles, and how to incorporate the principles of Agile into your next project. What is Agile project management? First off, what is Agile project management? Simply put, it is a way of approaching project management that uses Agile values and principles to pave the way for project success. Agile uses a set of four values and 12 principles to guide project managers in their own work.  These Agile values and principles were first developed and set out in a charter known as the Agile manifesto, which was written in 2001 at a gathering of developers and programming professionals. The Agile manifesto was created to find a solution to older project management methodologies and processes that were seen as unworkable for modern projects. The Agile manifesto had 17 signatories, who went on to be known as the Agile Alliance. Once the manifesto was released, the Alliance grew to eventually have more than 72,000 members worldwide, who all embrace the values and principles of Agile project management in their daily work.  So, what kind of projects can be managed using Agile? Although it was originally developed for programming projects specifically, Agile lived up to its name and was able to be adapted for many different projects across a variety of industries. Agile is a flexible option for projects and allows goals to be changed without impacting the overall success of the project. This flexibility means that Agile is suitable for teams who like to move fast, without too many limitations or deadlines. If your team is consistent with its communication and enjoys less structure and more adaptability, Agile could be for you. But what are the core values and principles that make up the Agile methodology? Let’s explore each of them in detail. What are the four values of Agile? First off, let’s explore the Agile values. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools This is a cornerstone of Agile project management — favoring communication and interpersonal relationships over strict processes. Agile advises a more personalized approach to project management, where teams constantly communicate, rather than relying on more stagnant scheduled updates. Working software over comprehensive documentation Agile teams are not big fans of paperwork. They would rather utilize more flexible software solutions to manage their data, reports, and status updates than traditional documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Agile teams love collaboration, and that includes regularly updating and liaising with customers and stakeholders to get their input on how the project is progressing. Lengthy contracts with lots of revisions are part of the documentation that Agile teams prefer to move away from. Responding to change over following a plan Finally, we have the value that characterizes Agile project management above all else. Agile teams are responsive to change and thrive off adapting to new environments and challenges. These values inform every process and task that is done under the Agile umbrella. But what are the 12 principles, which delve further into what makes Agile so unique? What are the 12 principles of Agile? You may notice that many of Agile’s principles relate specifically to software development. As this was the background of many members of the original Agile Alliance, it was a strong focus for the Agile manifesto. However, these principles are still applicable to projects in other areas and industries — let’s take a closer look at how. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software Agile teams place their customers’ happiness first and foremost and prioritize delivering results at regular intervals, rather than have them wait for one final reveal at the end of the process. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage Agile teams are ready and able to tackle changes, even at the last minute. This gives them an advantage over more traditional teams, who may not take to change management so easily. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale Again, we note that Agile teams are all about regular and consistent communication, rather than scheduled updates that may be too far apart to be workable for clients. Scrum teams, which fall under the Agile umbrella, break their workloads down into one to four week-long timelines, known as sprints. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project Collaboration is key in Agile, not just between team members, but with stakeholders, developers, customers, and other relevant parties. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job doneAgile teams are successful because they make sure to structure their team with the right people for the project. Once your team members have the support, collaboration, and tools they need to succeed, the rest will follow. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation We can all admit that there is no substitute for in-person collaboration when it comes to project management. But this principle is also applicable in our ‘new normal’ of hybrid and remote working models. Zoom and Teams are a great alternative to phone calls and email, and teams can also make the effort to meet in person for key points of progression throughout the project. Working software is the primary measure of progress This principle cites software as its main deliverable, but its message endures — your focus as a team should always be to deliver the best quality result to your customers as possible. If they are satisfied, then that is the strongest indicator of your project’s success. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely This can be a difficult task for many teams, who may come out of the gate with a burst of quick progress, before falling to a slower pace for the rest of the project. Agile teams must ensure that their working pace is consistent throughout the project. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility Agile is not a ‘one and done’ approach to project management. Every new project offers the opportunity for innovation and to create something new — not to keep rehashing the same ideas. Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential Agile teams do not get bogged down in overcomplication — they meet their requirements, do their jobs well, and move on to the next project. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams The best teams are those with a leader who is not afraid to let them shine. Micro-managing rarely makes any team better or more productive, and Agile teams are great examples of what can happen when this is not the case. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly Continuous improvement is the name of the game in Agile, and regular performance reviews of the team as a whole can help to break unhelpful habits and lead to more success. How to implement Agile values and principles into your projects You may be ready to give Agile project management a go, but are wondering how best to keep to the manifesto’s guidelines. There is no one way to implement Agile values and principles into your projects. The Agile manifesto is an intuitive guide for your teams to make their own — as long as you keep to the core ideas of Agile, you can adapt it to suit the needs of your project.  One way to ensure success is to utilize project management software that is compatible with the principles of Agile. A collaborative work management tool like Wrike can aid your Agile team to project success with features like: One source of truth for reports, edits, and comments, with no unnecessary paperwork @mentions and app integrations, which ensure that all communication can be done in one place for quick and consistent updates Customizable request and intake forms, so that work can be clearly prioritized and you can make the most of every sprint Ready-to-use templates for your team, including Agile teamwork, sprint planning, Kanban projects, and more Discover how Wrike can bring your team to Agile success. Start a free two-week trial now.

Moore’s Law and the Productivity Problem
Productivity 7 min read

Moore’s Law and the Productivity Problem

As the year draws to a close, developing strategies for how to be more productive and finish the year off strong is on every team’s mind — regardless of department or industry.  According to a study by California-based management platform Redbooth, the month of the year that we are at our most productive is October, followed by November, then September. The fall provides a feeling of a new start for many businesses, with the desire for shiny new productivity tools and aids bringing us back to our school days. But, while a new pencil case or a multi-colored pen can work wonders, today’s organizations are looking to much more sophisticated tools to boost their productivity. Note-taking apps, instant messaging platforms, virtual to-do lists, calendar tools — our desktops are overflowing with software designed to make us our most productive selves. But, with so many conflicting apps clouding our vision, it can often be difficult to get anything done at all.  So, why are we so inclined to constantly invest in new technology, believing it will exponentially increase our productivity levels? This concept is commonly referred to as Moore’s Law, and it’s important to understand it if you’re concerned about your team’s or your own productivity levels. What is Moore’s Law? Let’s start off with a simple enough question: what is Moore’s Law? The origins of Moore’s Law lie in IT and computer hardware. It is the principle that the speed and efficiency of a computer can be expected to double every two years, while the cost decreases by half. Moore’s Law is named after Gordon E. Moore, the co-founder of Intel, who made this observation of exponential growth in 1965.  You will have no doubt experienced Moore’s Law for yourself over the last decade, as the need to purchase a new phone or laptop normally begins to creep up every two years or so. While the technical capabilities of your gadget will have grown hugely, the price largely remains standard. We then begin to fall into a cycle of purchasing new technology as a habit, stretching our view to include phones, computers, exercise aids, entertainment systems, and, yes, productivity tools. Moore’s Law and endless productivity tools Of course, Moore’s Law has huge benefits for the technologically-driven society that we live in. The standards of the technology that we rely on can even be linked to Moore’s Law. The overarching idea of Moore’s Law — that speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of technology is constantly evolving at a rapid pace — could apply to productivity tools and solutions. The need to update and reinvest in the ever-growing ecosystem of productivity tools and software every few years sees many teams losing themselves to too many apps.  In 2015, the average number of cloud applications per company was 73. In 2020, that number had increased to 163. So much so, that 56% of IT executives are now reporting having to use manual spreadsheets to keep track of all their SaaS apps — defeating their productivity goals before they’ve even started. This concept is commonly known as ‘SaaS sprawl,’ a term that refers to the dilemma of an organization’s tech stack being so expansive that it becomes unmanageable and causes visibility problems across departments. $40 billion is estimated to be spent on unused software each year, and the number of apps we are downloading continues to rise.  Many teams believe themselves to be more productive than ever, when really, spending so much time flicking between apps, tools, and software stifles creativity and raises burnout to an all-time high. How your team can effectively invest in productivity If your organization has fallen foul to overindulgence in productivity tools and gadgets, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to empower your teams and teach them how to be more productive without overwhelming themselves with dozens of productivity platforms.  Consider toxic productivity The concept of toxic productivity relates to an unattainable desire for increased productivity, at the expense of other priorities, such as family or health. Toxic productivity is a real issue for many teams, especially if both our personal and work devices are overrun with technology that is constantly drawing us back to working mode. Consider whether your team could benefit from a digital detox of work-related technology, and set boundaries for after-hours work communication. Turn your attention to other methods of increasing productivity There are plenty of ways to increase productivity and wellbeing at work that have nothing to do with technology. For example, has your organization invested in a flexible work structure, allowing employees to choose where they work best? Could your business go the extra mile and trial a four-day workweek? Could your employee recognition programs use some extra love? These are all areas to consider when brainstorming how to be more productive across the board. Making the most of all-in-one technology like Wrike Of course, technology will always be a cornerstone of a successful business, and continuing to use productivity tools in some way at work is non-negotiable. But which tools should you invest in? What are the most important features of work management software that can actually increase productivity by up to 40%? Workflow automation: With Wrike’s custom request forms and automated task assignment, your team will never miss important tasks and details because of a cluttered workspace. App integration: Using so many apps can be tiresome and inefficient, with details and updates often being missed by team members. Wrike’s work management includes over 400 app integrations, so the constant context switching can stop. Single source of truth: Trawling through emails and messaging apps to find important documents and updates is time-consuming and frustrating for teams. Keeping everything organized in one centralized hub, where users can comment, edit, and give feedback, is a life-saver for teams who wish to be more productive. Collaborative features: Whether your team works in-office, remotely, or under a hybrid model, breakdowns in communication are one of the most common challenges to successful projects. Wrike’s collaborative features, including @mentions, real-time editing, and email and chat app integrations means that your team all have the same view, no matter where they are. Want to know more about how Wrike can boost your team’s productivity? Try out a free two-week trial today.

How Will Recruitment Be Different in a Post-Pandemic Office?
Leadership 7 min read

How Will Recruitment Be Different in a Post-Pandemic Office?

Over the last 18 months, industries and teams around the globe have had the challenge of adapting to a newly distanced workforce. Every process has been subject to unprecedented changes and alterations, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world’s businesses. Now, as organizations begin to move back towards a hybrid or office-based workforce, teams are faced with the challenge of adapting a ‘new normal’ — using what they have learned during the pandemic to make offices a safer, more productive environment for employees. Hiring and onboarding have been some of the hardest challenges when it comes to COVID-19’s impact on the global workforce. Millions of employees faced job losses and temporary layoffs, and many were forced to pivot their careers in a totally new direction. At the same time, HR teams were re-focusing their energy on remote hiring — finding interviewing, and onboarding candidates virtually Many of those who started new jobs in 2020 have still never met their colleagues in person.  Now, HR teams are preparing a return to an in-person framework for recruiting and onboarding new employees. What changes should HR professionals prepare for in returning to the office? How should they approach in-person onboarding as the pandemic continues? What are the priorities that HR teams can target to improve employee experience? How has hiring and onboarding changed since the pandemic? In April 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate reached its peak of the pandemic, at a huge 14.7%, with 20.5 million people out of work. The sudden flood of newly unemployed and furloughed people into the candidate pool meant that many had to upskill or even make a career pivot to remain afloat.  According to a survey of 4,000 workers by Aviva earlier this year, 60% of UK workers intend to make changes to their career as a result of the pandemic, including finding a completely different vocation (9%) or taking on a role that helps others (8%).  While the prospect of unemployment can be a great motivator, it’s not the only reason that workers worldwide are considering a career change. According to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey, of the 26% of workers surveyed who plan to switch jobs post-COVID, 80% are doing so because they’re concerned about career advancement. It’s up to HR and hiring managers to bridge the gap between disengaged candidates and their new career goals. Such disruption in the hiring industry can be seen as a hindrance, but it’s also a huge opportunity for innovation and growth. So how can you harness that opportunity and prepare for the return to the office? What will change when we return to the office? So, what will the post-pandemic office look like for new hires? There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to migrating back to an office environment — including social distancing measures, cleanliness and hygiene standards, and the possibility of a hybrid model for employees.  The post-COVID workspace will be much more flexible, with the focus shifting from nurturing a strictly in-office culture to an emphasis on work/life balance and being adaptable to employee’s lifestyles. Managers should be aware of what they need to do to ensure a safe and supportive workspace for their team members, with hiring teams especially responsible for new hires’ first impressions of the office.  Onboarding will also take on a different look for the post-COVID workforce. While hiring teams have spent the last 18 months adapting to remote interviews, digital contracts, and Zoom ice-breakers, now is the time to take what you’ve learned during the pandemic, and put it to use for a new generation of workers.  How to implement in-person hiring So, what are some best practices to consider when it comes to in-person hiring? From sourcing to signing contracts, here are some of our top tips: Look past location for sourcing new talent: Hopeful candidates have been upskilling and honing their interview techniques for 18 months now, so your hiring team should have no issue finding fantastic talent for open positions. However, make sure not to fall into old habits and only stick to tried-and-tested parameters for potential hires. Look past location (remote working has been proven to work well for many industries), previous experience (many have pivoted to new career paths), and backgrounds to dig deeper into what makes a truly great candidate. How do you want your post-COVID workforce to look? If diverse, multi-skilled, practical, and problem-solving are your answers (hint: they should be), you may have to cast a wider net to find the perfect fit. Consider your candidate’s circumstances when reaching out for next steps: You’ve found a fantastic candidate and you want them to come in for an interview. But remember, we are in the ‘new normal,’ and it’s essential to be considerate of your candidate’s unique circumstances when inviting them into your office. Are they able to travel? Is the office accessible to them? Can they comfortably comply with COVID measures in the office? It’s important to hash these issues out early, as these factors will become important in the next stages. Implement a strict process for in-person interviews: When bringing multiple candidates in to interview, it’s imperative to keep your office as safe as possible while the pandemic is ongoing. Social distancing measures, proper cleaning and hygiene protocols, and contact tracing processes must be in place before interviews can take place. Ask for candidate’s feedback and be sure to take any criticisms they have on board going forward. Don’t relax your standards once hiring ends: When your candidate has signed their contract, this doesn’t mean that your COVID policy can be forgotten. A positive onboarding experience is essential to a new hire staying in your company for the long haul. Ask about the working model that is best for them, and what would make them more comfortable in your workspace.  Habits to keep from remote hiring and onboarding While you may be looking forward to getting back to meeting candidates in-person, keep in mind the habits and lessons from remote hiring and onboarding that you’ve learned so far. Flexibility is key We’ve learned throughout the pandemic that innovation can be found anywhere where flexibility is prioritized. When you allow your candidates to be creative with their applications, their interviews, and their ways of working, you open your organization up to be the best it can be. Life/work balance — not the other way around The pandemic has forced organizations worldwide to reckon with the pressure they put on employees. Late nights spent at the office does not necessarily mean that your employee is being more productive or doing their best work. It’s important to prioritize a life/work balance for your new hires moving forward. What does that look like for them, and how can you facilitate that to encourage their best work? Great communication makes for great hires Working remotely has lead to teams everywhere reconsidering their communication levels. How we check in, how often, and in what way really matters in allowing your employees to feel secure and supported in their work. Remember this throughout the onboarding process for new hires — allow them to flourish, while remaining on-hand for anything they need. How Wrike can help your hiring process post-pandemic Need some extra support to navigate the changing hiring landscape? Wrike’s work management platform gives hiring managers complete transparency and control over their onboarding processes. Keep track of all job listings and potential hires with an organization-wide view of projects, all in one place Stay connected and give feedback in real-time to your hiring teams with Wrike’s collaboration tools Remote work templates allow your teams to jump right in and streamline their processes from the very beginning Give it a try with a two-week free trial.

40% More Efficient: Wrike Customers On The Productivity Software Features That Help Them Do Their Best Work
Productivity 5 min read

40% More Efficient: Wrike Customers On The Productivity Software Features That Help Them Do Their Best Work

What are some of the daily tools you use to be more productive? Whether it’s a simple pen-and-paper to-do list or an expansive work management software, we all have our go-to solutions for getting work done more efficiently. When it comes to achieving productivity goals, Wrike customers unlock their teams’ potential with features like in-context proofing, timeline and resource management, and workflow automation.     As the global workforce has migrated to a more flexible, hybrid-focused way of doing their jobs, we’ve come to rely on software more than ever to help us get more done. There are many challenges to working in a hybrid model, including communication breakdowns, workflow silos, and challenges in keeping up with processes and best practices.  With this in mind, we wanted to share the features our customers use to combat these unique obstacles.  Who has Wrike helped to be more productive? Wrike has helped over 20,000 organizations worldwide address their productivity challenges and do the best work of their lives, all with our intuitive work management platform. Our customers include household names like Fitbit, Sony Pictures Television, and Nickelodeon, who have all used Wrike’s features in different ways to leverage their teams’ incredible skills. Let’s take, for example, Sony Pictures Television, one of the world’s leading television content providers, with teams in every region of the globe. With such a widespread workforce, Sony found it challenging to scale and manage projects between teams, searching for over a year to find a tool that was flexible enough to manage work across different time zones, work styles, and team structures.  With Wrike’s unique features, such as real-time reports, personalized dashboards, and Gantt charts and table views, Sony was able to reduce project delivery times by 40% and reduce their email time by 90%. Which Wrike features can help my team be more efficient? Wrike’s features enable teams in any industry, anywhere, to work together as one — no matter their individual goals or working styles. Users can customize their dashboards and workflows to suit them, enabling teams to fine-tune their processes and get more done, quicker. Features like workflow automation and our 400+ app integrations increase efficiency by simplifying request intake processes and eliminating productivity killers like task and context switching.  How much time per day does your team waste searching for a document in an email thread or transferring files between multiple platforms so that different people can add their edits? With Wrike, teams can work on projects in one accessible, centralized hub. Our in-context proofing features mean every team, from creative to HR, can add their insight, without losing any valuable information and feedback.  Wrike provides 360° visibility instantly, which is invaluable for team leaders who feel like their workload may be spiraling out of control. Choose how you visualize upcoming projects, tasks and deadlines, and see each member of your team’s dashboards for their individual workloads — making it easier to delegate and streamline from the very beginning.  Struggling with request intake across teams? Custom request forms gather details, auto-create, and auto-assign tasks to the right team member, every time — no more confusion over who should handle what.  Resource management in Wrike is simplified, too. Shared team calendars allow everyone to see where deadlines and milestones lie, while time-tracking allows users to clearly show how their workload is distributed. Use Wrike’s advanced analytics to monitor progress and team performance, with real-time updates and insights as the project progresses. How can Wrike help me to communicate better with my team? Breakdowns in communication can be one of the most common and debilitating challenges that a team can face during a project. From endless emails to muddled chat threads, the stress of finding the right information, or being unable to reach the right person, can leave teams feeling a lack of motivation to do their best work.  With Wrike’s collaborative features,  this is a thing of the past. @mentions, real-time editing and updates, and email and chat app integrations allow teams to have one source of truth to communicate from. Rest easy with the knowledge that your project’s deliverables are all being worked on in one place, with input from every relevant team member clearly displayed. Focusing on clear communication allows teams to feel heard and valued, which leads to increased productivity and motivation. Just how much can Wrike help with my organization’s productivity? Need some numbers? We hear you. Check out the below infographic to find out just how much time and effort Wrike can save you on your future projects. Want to find out more about how Wrike can help your team boost its productivity? Take a look at our free two-week trial.

The Post-Covid Work Habits to Make (and Break) as an Employer
Remote Working 10 min read

The Post-Covid Work Habits to Make (and Break) as an Employer

Have you ever had a habit that you wish you could break? Biting your nails, scrolling on your phone at night, procrastinating — we all have our vices. Having our lives flipped upside down by the pandemic over the last year (and spending a lot more time cooped up) has forced us to reckon with the bad habits we’ve accumulated over the years, as well as the better habits we’d like to create for ourselves.  But while many of us have done a great job of taking up yoga, cooking meals from scratch, or learning a new skill over lockdown, our work habits are still an area that may need some improvement. Working from home over the past year has allowed us to take stock of our life in employment — how our working style works (or doesn’t work) for us, and what we may want to change when things return to ‘normal.’ And now, as our ‘new normal’ begins to take shape and teams around the world begin to migrate back to the office, it’s a perfect time to make and break some work habits. Why good work habits are important to managing your team As an employer, you have a lot of responsibilities to your team. How you work every day sets an example to those around you — that’s why it’s vital for you always to be actively learning and trying to improve the careers of everyone on your team. The habits you invest in at work show your teammates what is expected of them and how you would like your team to operate. If you create good work habits, your team will be motivated to follow your lead and invest in their own positive habit-building. Now more than ever, it’s essential to motivate your team for success, as we all prepare for returning to work after COVID. Important factors in your return-to-work program To figure out which habits are most important for you to build as we return to the office, it’s essential to understand your employees’ mindsets. After working at home for over a year, many of us have reevaluated our work priorities and what we want from employers in the future. In a 2020 survey, the Adecco Group questioned 8000 workers across eight countries about what would be important to them in working post-COVID, with some interesting insights. A strong case was put forward for employer flexibility and favoring results over clocked hours, with 69% of employees suggesting that their contracts should be based on meeting the needs of the business rather than the hours they work.  74% of employees said they wanted their managers to demonstrate an empathetic and supportive leadership style post-pandemic, with 70% citing support for their mental wellbeing as an important factor in returning to the office.  But while employees are stating emotionally available management as a top priority, employers need some help in that arena. More than half (54%) of the leaders surveyed said they need “support to be able to navigate these new expectations,” with just 12% “excelling” in holistic support of their employees during lockdown.  So how can employers begin to support their teams in returning to the office post-pandemic? As with all great businesses, the example should come from the top. As a leader, the habits you invest in every day, both for your own working style and your employees’, set the example for how you want your business to succeed. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of essential habits to form as you prepare for RTO, as well as some to leave behind.  The work habits you should make when returning to work after COVID Open communication The way you communicate with your employees has a direct correlation to your business’s success. Organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. According to McKinsey, productivity can increase by up to 25% in organizations where employees are connected. As an employer, strive to create an environment of open communication and transparency. Employees appreciate being kept in the loop about important updates and changes, especially when much about the workplace is so uncertain. Practice regular updates and feedback sessions with your team, engaging with them on a personal level as well as on a corporate one. Use remote tools to your advantage and create a stream of consistent communication with your team, no matter where they're based. Your team should know that you are available to listen to their concerns and will communicate with them openly wherever possible. Active feedback Whether it’s to address an issue with their work or praise them for a job well done, it’s vital that your organization practices active and regular feedback for your employees. According to Officevibe, “four out of 10 workers are actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback”, with 43% of highly engaged employees receiving feedback at least once a week. Liaise with your team leads and ensure that a feedback policy is put in place for your organization. Celebrate your employees’ wins, both big and small, and advocate for them when their work is not up to par — ensure that they feel supported and work with them, not against them, to find a solution. Mentorship A 2016 Gallup engagement poll showed that 82% of managers and executives are seen as lacking in leadership skills by their employees. Team leaders have many responsibilities, but being a reliable and consistent mentor to their employees is perhaps the most important. As an employer, investigate implementing a mentoring program in your organization. Pair new hires with more experienced executives and encourage open conversations around career advice and development in the office. As an individual leader, make it a habit to check in with your team individually on how their career goals are developing at your organization. What can you do to lead and encourage them? Embracing hybrid working It’s no secret that COVID-19 has completely changed the game in terms of remote and hybrid working. The pandemic has accelerated the burgeoning trend of hybrid working worldwide, and, according to countless reports, the method is here to stay. While it can be difficult to pivot your leadership style to mesh with a hybrid working model, endeavor to make it a priority for you and your team. Ensure your remote workers are supported, both holistically and technically, with the right equipment and software to collaborate seamlessly. Investing in technology Over the past 18 months, innovations in technology have made it possible for teams to collaborate and communicate in unprecedented conditions. As we transition back to ‘normal,’ adopting a technologically forward mindset is just as important. Technology can be utilized in myriad ways at your organization — whether that’s in work management software to streamline projects, scaling AI to prevent failures and defects in your products, or creating a safe, post-COVID environment for your employees.  While building your new work habits, remember that some of your well-practiced habits may not be serving you like they used to. Here are some that you should consider leaving at home as you return to the workplace. The work habits you should break in your post-COVID office Overdrawnpointless meetings We’ve all thought to ourselves, “couldn’t this have been an email?” in a Zoom meeting at some point this past year. As we return to the office, employees are less likely to politely accept unnecessary time-wasting. While regular meetings and updates are necessary for smooth project management, it’s worth keeping them to a tight schedule and only herding everyone into the boardroom when completely necessary. Make use of your newfound technology innovations and explore more efficient ways to communicate with your team.  Multitasking You may pride yourself on being a fantastic multitasker, but is this skill beneficial to your work? Studies have shown that when our brain tries to switch back and forth between two tasks, especially if those tasks are complex and require active attention to complete, we become less efficient. Similarly, if you work on your tasks with your email or chat software constantly pinging you about other tasks, it’s difficult to complete anything to a good standard. When you return to the office, cut your multitasking, focus on one task at a time, and encourage your team to do the same. You may start to notice a marked improvement in productivity.   Favoring time over output As your employees have gotten used to more flexible working hours, you should reevaluate how you measure their performance as they return to the office. Are you more interested in them staying late every evening or turning in a fantastic finished product? As we return to ‘normal,’ your employees will be just as motivated to do their jobs well, but time spent online should not be a marker for success. As a leader, set an example of not micromanaging your teams’ schedules, especially outside working hours. Research has shown that an ‘always on’ culture can be harmful to productivity and employees’ mental wellbeing. Scrap clockwatching and see how your team can get creative with their workloads.  Disorganization A 2017 Staples survey of small business owners saw 1 in 3 say that workplace disorganization leads to less productivity. What’s more, 75% of struggling or failing business owners believed that workplace disorganization had contributed to their lack of success. Workplace disorganization means lost opportunities, lost productivity, and lost revenue for your workplace. As an employer, it’s imperative that you are organized and coordinated in your day-to-day work. Workers rely on you for guidance and assistance, and if you’re scrambling to locate a certain file, contact, or project deliverable, this can eat away at their confidence in your leadership. Invest in organizational tools, such as a flexible all-in-one work management system like Wrike that can keep everything in one place and give you more time to lead. Ignoring work-life balance According to Gartner’s 2020 ReimagineHR Employee Survey, employers that support employees with their life experience see a 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health. This is of a huge benefit to employers, who see a 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to organizations that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees. Over the pandemic, workers have experienced higher stress levels than ever before. As we transition back to the workplace, you must invest in their mental wellbeing, which starts with encouraging a healthy work-life balance. How Wrike can help your team form better work habits as you return to the office Using a work management system like Wrike can encourage your teams to do their best work. Here are just some of the ways that using Wrike can help to build positive work habits: Collaboration-focused software, including chat and email integrations and real-time feedback and editing, will allow your team to work together from anywhere and communicate seamlessly, cutting back on wasted time waiting on emails or bad connections. Resource management tools will take the stress out of organizing your return to work program. Create tasks and subtasks for all your RTO needs, and organize deliverables seamlessly. Our all-in-one software means that your hybrid and remote workers don’t have to worry about technology troubles or lack of access. Everything is right at your fingertips with Wrike. Interested in how we can help your teams to thrive post-pandemic? Try Wrike with a two-week free trial.

The Ultimate Return-to-Work Checklist for Managers (Infographic)
Collaboration 3 min read

The Ultimate Return-to-Work Checklist for Managers (Infographic)

As teams worldwide begin to prepare for the mass Return-to-Office movement, as a manager, there are probably a thousand things on your mind. Bringing your team back to the workplace, whether that’s through hybrid working or a traditional office model, brings a variety of potential challenges, and it’s up to you to make the transition as smooth as possible for your team members. Moving back to the office is not as simple as stocking up on hand sanitizers and face coverings. From technology to team building, your employees will need support in lots of areas when transitioning away from working from home. Here to help you streamline your return-to-work management, our ultimate checklist lists everything you need to get the process started. From PPE to new hires, exposure strategies to hybrid technology, our return-to-work checklist for managers is one you’ll want to bookmark.

Key Soft Skills for Managers in a Post-COVID Office
Collaboration 10 min read

Key Soft Skills for Managers in a Post-COVID Office

What are the most important soft skills for managers to offer their teams returning to work after COVID? Find what you need for your workplace to thrive here.

;
Start Enterprise Trial
Free 14-day trial, Easy setup, Cancel any time
Please enter your email
Server error. We're really sorry. Wait a few minutes and try again.