If you’re struggling to work remotely with your team, Adam Katz has a few suggestions that will get the creative juices flowing. He’s taught at The School of Visual Arts for the MFA Design program and the Cornell Tech MBA program. As a creative director and designer based in New York, he knows a thing or two about working with creative teams.
Are you wondering how to harness the creative energy in your team when everyone is working from home? Use these tips from Adam Katz to learn how to collaborate effectively while miles apart.
Flexibility Is Key
The creative director says flexibility is the most important thing. If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us that we need to adapt our strategies to meet the changing times. When it comes to working remotely with creative teams, you must find ways to collaborate in real-time. In the film industry, that might mean utilizing a screenwriting platform such as WriterDuet. Then the writing team can work on a script together, same as in the writer’s room.
Of course, you’ll want to implement a video chat system, like ZOOM. Keep in mind that turning the cameras on and suppressing email and other platforms during a virtual meeting keeps the team engaged.
Make The Most of Cloud Technology
Adam Katz suggests making the most of technology. You’ll need additional software and cloud capabilities to collaborate effectively. As the team’s leader, it’s essential to become well-versed in software and cloud services then illustrate how to use them.
For example, Microsoft365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and the Google Creative Lab offer real-time collaboration between team members, including everything from messenger-style chat to video and more.
The cloud gives your creative team the ability to work together with software that they already know, such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, Illustrator, and Premier. Google Creative Lab provides powerful tools as well.
Google Creative Lab Developments
As the latest version of Google’s G-Suite, Google Workspace includes productivity apps such as Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Drive. One of the new features is @mention. When you @mention a team member in a cloud document, you’ll get contact details for reaching out via email, chat, or video.
Not only that, but the picture-in-picture feature enables you to see and hear the people you’re collaborating with, so it feels more like an in-person experience. Your team can use Google Workspace on any internet browser. But if they use Google Chrome, they can set up a bookmark bar and synchronize Chrome across all their devices, including their smartphone, tablet, laptop, and optimized desktop.
Everyone has their own Drive account to store notes and files, and there’s also a team Drive, where they can share documents and resources. As the creative lead, you have an admin console in Google Workspace to manage data, apps, and team members from a single dashboard.
You can customize the user’s experience, create roles, assign permissions, and manage devices. As the administrator, you can also set security protocols such as email alerts when someone logs in from an unknown device. Plus, you can block access to company information if someone leaves the team.
You Can Still Use a Whiteboard
You can also use a digital whiteboard to make the conversation more dynamic as your team brainstorms. Hardware, such as Google’s Jamboard, is a must-have for remote creative teams. Adam Katz explains that Google Jamboard offers a 55-inch touchscreen 4k display that enables users to collaborate whiteboard-style with access to an interactive canvas.
A digital whiteboard means you can lead a brainstorming session using a whiteboard, and each team member can also add their input with the interactive canvas.
Be Flexible, Use Technology, and Get Team Buy-in
Adam Katz says it’s best to lead by example. If you want your creative team to feel comfortable and productive, set them up for success. The creative director suggests putting together a list of best practices, so everyone is on the same page regarding virtual brainstorming and creative sessions.
Create a schedule and ask your team to check in regularly with progress reports. And integrate training sessions to ensure everyone understands the new technology.
If you’re looking for more ideas on remote work with creative teams, be sure to check out Adam Katz’s Google Creative Lab blog for news and updates.