It’s been just over two years since the world we know got flipped upside down. To be honest, in March 2020, I was more concerned about March Madness being canceled and Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots. I mean talk about feeling like the world is ending as a sports fan! Receiving notice that we would be working from home for the foreseeable future was a wakeup call and certainly an adjustment. I’ve always gone into an office and working from home was very rare. The biggest challenge for me was finding a suitable work setup at home where I wasn’t raiding the kitchen cabinets or getting a crick in my neck from my seating position. Zoom meetings immediately became a part of our daily life as well and I have become acutely aware of all my facial imperfections and expressions that even the “touch up appearance” can’t hide.
Throughout this adjustment from in-office to home-office, the way I go about my work as traffic manager has not drastically changed. There is still work to be done and deadlines to meet. What has changed though is the ability to walk over to someone’s desk and bug them for a deliverable. I had to go through an adjustment period to figure out what modes of communication would work best for me and my team.
Because I no longer had the advantage of face-to-face communication, I found the key to success is keeping track of everyone I am talking to. As the traffic manager, I am the point person between project managers, different departments, freelancers, and at times, vendors. There is pressure to meet various timelines but also to manage expectations and unrealistic deadlines. I’ve grown accustomed to sitting in on virtual meetings and taking notes to communicate back to different parts of the team. I find that video calls, email lists, and slack are a great way to communicate with team members. I host several SCRUMS throughout the week to keep up regular checkpoints. My monitor is surrounded by Post It notes, Excel docs with resource schedules, marketing software, and of course the notes in my head.
As a team, it’s important I gain their trust and respect – they need to know I’ll get in the trenches with them, especially when it’s fast and furious!
The one constant has been the fact that I am part of a talented team that works hard, continuously producing work that they can truly be proud of. Each creative has a different work style which requires different needs from me (I’ve perfected that over the years). As a team, it’s important I gain their trust and respect – they need to know I’ll get in the trenches with them, especially when it’s fast and furious! Whether they need a sounding board, a research-assist, confirming project specs, or getting answers, I’m here for them. There are times when all you can do is make a candy (I mean, wine) run to help get it all over the finish line! The latter has become more difficult being remote, so I have been working on my GIF-game to keep ‘em going and give them a laugh. I am lucky that our team and our clients are understanding of the challenges we face and we’re all able to work together to produce outstanding work. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people you are surrounded by that make it all come together. I am truly fortunate to work with an incredibly smart and talented group of people supporting one another through the daily grind and the obstacles life throws at us.