Why you’re not remotely like Einstein

March 4, 2021

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Beethoven was deaf. Stephen Hawking could only move his eyes. Albert Einstein’s memory was so bad he couldn’t remember his own phone number.

None of those people let their challenges restrict their creativity and innovation. But how would they have coped with working remotely in lockdown?

One advantage they had was that they worked alone. Beethoven didn’t kick around ideas for his Fifth Symphony with a couple of composer mates. Stephen Hawking’s work on space and time was mainly done in a collaboration-free vacuum. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity didn’t involve colleagues, friends or – despite its name – his relatives. Recent research* (by us) has shown, most of us work better when we can work together.

The survey of marketing professionals reveals that nine out of ten feel lockdown has had a major impact on their ability to produce their best work.

They’re not talking about the problems of their kids gate-crashing Zoom calls, or their cat sitting on the keyboard. They’re talking about a ‘significant’ reduction in their creativity.

Almost three-quarters (69%) of marketeers are struggling to work remotely with others, when they’re more used to sharing ideas face-to-face. And many say it’s not helped by a lack of suitable tech, and of support from their agency.

Even while they make the best of things with Teams, Zoom, emails, and phone calls, 77% of those surveyed said lockdown has meant being locked out of the resources required to do their job. Around a year into the pandemic and remote working, they still can’t access all the client and business development content they need to work effectively.

So far, so bad. But the problems don’t end there.

The survey highlighted how many marketing professionals feel their working lives have become more challenging. No fewer than one in two say they face increased pressures in their day-to-day roles. And with no chance of letting off steam with colleagues around the coffee machine, that pressure just goes on building.

So what can be done to help and support those of us who aren’t a Beethoven, a Hawking, or an Einstein? For people who have always produced their most creative results by working with others? For remote workers who don’t want to be so remote anymore?

The key is not to try to do it all alone.

If you’ve been a team player all your working life, you can’t expect to become a soloist overnight – or even over 12 months of lockdown. So you need to keep collaborating, and to find new ways of doing it to suit the new world we’re in. After all, remote working was already a reality some of the time for some people before the pandemic. Now it’s never going to disappear, any more than the virus is.

So consider a collaboration platform like gruup, that helps you work together with colleagues even when you’re not together. That gives you access to the resources you need, wherever they are. And that helps you carry on being creative, however remotely you’re working.

*Date - Oct 2020

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