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September 18, 2023
January 5, 2024

5 Strategies To Best Manage Your Remote Design Team

Shirly Christy

5 Strategies To Best Manage Your Remote Design Team

August 18, 2023
January 5, 2024
Shirly Christy


Are you a design team leader or a designer yourself navigating the complexities of working with a remote design team? 

Are all your creative team's ideas getting lost in remote work? 

As many organizations are continuing to embrace the digital age, it is safe to say that remote work is here to stay. While remote work comes with a wide range of flexibility and access to global talent, it also brings unique challenges, especially for brand managers,  designers and creative individuals. 

Lack of face-to-face interaction, communication gaps, missed deadlines, and being away from your team can make you feel stranded on a creative island. In this blog post, we are going to talk about the problems of working remotely and how you can manage your remote design team. 

Understanding remote design teams

It can look like the traditional office buzz is irreplaceable, yet remote design teams are thriving and are here to stay. Here are the benefits of remote design teams: 

1. Access to talent 

The most significant benefit of having a remote design team is that it gets you instant access to a pool of fresh talent. You can add designers from various backgrounds and experiences. This can help add fresh perspectives to projects and drive innovative, creative outcomes. 

2. Independence around work

Designers working in remote design teams are often entrusted with greater work independence and creative freedom. They manage their tasks, make creative decisions, and take ownership of their creative projects. 

3. Flexible working hours 

While having flexible working hours still stands to be the most attractive benefit of remote design teams, it is not just a surface-level benefit. Our visual designer here at Artwork Flow, Pragati, says she feels more creative when she works in the afternoon and can work faster. 

"I prefer to start work around afternoons, sitting at my desk. That's when I feel more creative, and I can produce designs that often get approved instantly." 

– Pragati, Visual Designer 

4. Cost savings 

On the organizational level, remote design teams are a cost-effective option. For example, a mid-sized e-commerce brand can allocate a budget towards marketing efforts instead of maintaining a physical design studio and save money on office space, equipment, and local talent search.

5. Improved work-life balance 

Another unsaid advantage of remote design teams is that they offer better work-life balance. Most individuals who work in the creative field such as designers and writers work best in a remote environment as it allows them to spend more time with family, engage in personal projects, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. 

5 strategies to better manage your remote design teams

1. Streamline your communication channels

Communication is the cornerstone of success for any remote team, and a remote design team is no exception. You must establish clear communication channels to manage your remote design team effectively. If you are a brand head overseeing a remote design team that is spread across different time zones, bringing everyone on the same page is often challenging. 

By implementing efficient communication tools like Slack, Zoom, and other project management software with real-time messaging features, you can easily collaborate with designers worldwide. This fosters a dynamic work environment that promotes creativity and productivity and ensures everyone stays on the same page. 

2. Establish clear goals and expectations for every project

Managing a remote design team can become challenging due to the lack of interaction, leading to potential miscommunication. Imagine you are the Visual Head of a clothing brand, and you want to set up a clear roadmap for an upcoming campaign. With a new project coming into place lacking clear briefs and no timelines , having a remote design team can lead the project to quickly go off track and lead to missed deadlines and confusion. 

In such a situation, using a comprehensive project brief can serve as the guiding light for your remote design team. A good project brief needs to have the following clearly defined: 

  1. Project goals 
  2. Timelines 
  3. Creative outcomes 

Giving a detailed brief can bring structure and clarity to your team and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and missed deadlines. Setting clear expectations through project briefs increases productivity and enhances the quality of the final design deliverables, ultimately contributing to the brand's success.

Also read: 5 Tips That Can Help Optimize Your Creative Workflow along with a free Creative Brief Template you can use with your team

3. Embracing creative management software

One of the most significant challenges of remote design teams is the lack of real-time collaboration. Having a centralized design collaboration software can help you build organized workflows, tackle version control issues, and seamlessly track projects.

Say your design team is tasked to make a bunch of creatives for internal marketing. Without comprehensive creative management software, you might face several problems such as the inability to track the progress of your project when you want, manage design iterations for each of these banners and provide timely feedback. 

When you invest in specialized creative project management software, you can address each of these challenges individually. A project management software like this can act as a centralized workspace where your remote team can seamlessly collaborate. You can easily share podcast design files, maintain version control to prevent confusion, and monitor the project's progress.

Most creative management software, like Artwork Flow, offer annotating and real-time commenting features that can help you review podcast banner iterations, provide immediate feedback, and ensure the project remains on the right track. This real-time collaboration streamlines the podcast design process, making it more efficient and error-free.

Utilizing creative management software tailored for your project will empower your remote design team and help overcome the unique challenges of managing a project in this context, despite the geographical distance. 

4. Set up regular check-ins with your team 

Lack of in-person interaction can often bring challenges amongst remote design teams. Imagine you're a design manager responsible for a dispersed team of remote designers. Without regular check-in meetings, you might encounter problems such as a lack of real-time project updates and a mismatch of the final creative vision. 

Regular check-in meetings provide a valuable solution to the challenges of managing a remote design team. These meetings offer a structured way to maintain communication, discuss project progress, address issues promptly, and offer support when required. They can improve collaboration, minimize misunderstandings, and ultimately lead to the successful execution of design projects, even in a remote work setting.

5. Build a creative work environment 

The most common dilemma remote designers face is maintaining a high level of creativity and team spirit when working from different locations. Designers may feel isolated and uninspired without physical interaction, impacting their work quality and overall job satisfaction.

As a design team lead, you can create a more stimulating work environment by initiating virtual design challenges, asking your team members to personalize their virtual workspaces, share mood boards, and showcase their creative process. 

Such activities catalyze creativity, helping remote designers break free from creative ruts and stay inspired. This can help to add a touch of personalization and individuality but also foster a sense of ownership and creative expression and maintain a vibrant and creative work environment.

Cultivate your team's creativity better with creative management software.

Managing a design team dispersed across various locations can be challenging in the dynamic landscape of remote work. We hope the strategies shared above can help you turn your design team's challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation. 

Utilizing creative  management platform can help you set clear expectations, track progress, and produce better creative results. Artwork Flow, a creative management software, can help you break through the creative barriers of your remote design team and excel in the ever-evolving world of remote work. Book your demo today and change the way you work with Artwork Flow. 

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