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    Is 2020 Making Remote Design Teams the New Normal?

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    Remote design team (keyboard)

    Is 2020 changing publishing forever? Are remote magazine production teams essential to all magazine, annual report and catalog publishers now?

    As many states within the US and around the world attempt to reopen for business, publishers are uneasy. For many magazine or catalog-centric businesses, for many design,web and marketing teams, the COVID-19 quarantine put a spin on everything. Are we truly going back to normal?

    It’s unclear right now where publishing “is”. There isn’t a lot a blog like this can or should say when it comes to the advent of superviruses like COVID-19, but it looks uncertain. Rollout of mass testing kits are still “in progress” at this writing (try getting a clear answer anywhere on this). As of this writing, today the first at-home saliva test seeks FDA approval. That’s about as big a story as any for literally everyone in the United States.

    So let’s jump ahead here…way, way ahead

    Let’s imagine ourselves on the other side of those at-home tests, a mandated app that makes sure people don’t infect others somehow, a vaccine that works and is useful, and a cure for existing cases. Let’s imagine for one brief shining moment that we all have hope again.

    Now what?

    Work has been rather noisily changing in the foreground before our very eyes, eyes that were too tired  and bloodshot in many cases to keep up. We watch YouTube versions of our favorite TV shows now. We telecommute to work (if we’re lucky enough to have work). We value (and hate) our pets more noticeably than we ever did before…

    Let’s back that up a bit…

    Remote design team worker
    Remote work may be more of a future than we can control.

    We work differently now. Office production teams have split up in the interim, in many cases, some publishers out there may not recover. In some cases, team members have been lost to the virus. This is not an easy topic. And yet, it’s one that has to be dealt with. Things have gotten difficult. The reopening may be temporary, unless we rethink work proactively here.

    • Do you try to hire new people?
    • Do you resume the office space?
    • How do you “social distance” in the office if you should have a 10 or 20-person team?

    First, we recommend publishers exhaust the work-from-home model first. And we don’t encourage anyone to pack the office in absence of test kits and a working vaccine. Just because your team isn’t all together in the office doesn’t mean you and a few other key players can’t social distance in the office, provided you’ve taken all precautions and thought it through. And it doesn’t mean you can’t have a full staff or get stuff done for 8 hours a day.

    Let’s face it, scientists are saying we’re going to have a return even if there is a lucky summer remission. We’re going to see a return. Working from home is going to become more of a necessity for other reasons besides the novel Coronavirus, however. Having a remote magazine production team at the ready is more of a long-term solution than a shorter term solution.

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    Remote design teams: a new normal

    According to eFrontLearning, it’s not just about the new quarantine normal for so-called “non-essential workers”. Globalization, work-life balance, and a growing need to work remotely to earn income are all likely reasons why working from home is going to become more of a need from here on as former office workers continue to call it quits on the office life.

    Let’s get real, publishers. It’s a sobering time. Let’s don’t sugarcoat it.

    We can’t alter these statistics, but with remote design team help providing web design, graphic design, and even remote web marketing expertise, we can certainly make things easier for publishers who need help now as they figure out the game plan.

    We work with partial or largely MIA teams to help you get the issue of your magazine, your new or existing website, and/or your content shining again. We do layout design, covers, and production work on issues. We’re a little flexible and we have some technical capacity to help make your site objectives reachable.

    Need help? Give us a shout…


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