Skyping My Team at Midnight in a Tropical Beach Resort: How Work Has Changed For Me

AKA: How Work Has Changed for Me in the Last Two Decades

AKA: You’re Not Really Working Remotely ‘Til You’re Skyping Your Team at Midnight on a Tropical Beach Resort with a Shotgun-Toting Security Guard By Your Side

It was midnight in the open-air dining hall — the only place in the beach resort that had wifi. No lights. No staff. Just the glorious sound of waves crashing on moonlit sands.

I had woken from a short sleep in order to attend the weekly team meeting via Skype. 8:00 AM Pacific meant midnight in the Philippines. But I needed internet. So I walked from the resort villa where my vacationing family slept soundly and crept like a villain to the empty dining area. Cracked open my laptop. No wifi. Uh-oh.

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Photo of a sculpture playing chess

Dear Management: Make Your Content Team More Strategic

Unless you hired fresh grads with no experience and no opinions, your content team has something more to contribute to the table than merely executing your overall plan. So if you want them to play a more strategic role in your communications scheme, and if you want to avoid the negative backlash that happens when you view content as a commodity, then I suggest the following steps:

  1. Allow them to massage your message
  2. Allow them to set the communication strategy

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Photo of a grassy area

The Kinko-fication of the Content Function

When content (which is defined broadly as text, videos, images, status updates) is viewed as a commodity, then guess what happens to the people providing the content? In the eyes of the parent organization, these producers become nothing more than copy shop employees cranking out 175 photocopies a minute. The focus is on speed of production (I need this tomorrow) and volume of output (I need 8 Tweets a day) rather than strategy and effectiveness (Will this help us sell our services to prospects? Will this increase our click-through rate?)
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