There’s been a storm brewing on the horizon the last decade or so. Prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t much more than a philosophical battle between the ‘in-person’ vs ‘remote’ work camps: one side that believes that employee productivity is a direct result of personal engagement in a communal space, and the other that prizes the productivity gains realized by flexibility in work-hours, reduced distractions, and the benefits of increased work/life balance.
While it can certainly be argued that both have their merits, the rise of the gig economy should have put the productivity argument to bed, as gig workers are typically far more productive than their office-bound peers. However, several other factors in recent years have led to a major shift in how we view remote work.
Employees and employers alike have begun to recognize the impact that a healthy work/life balance has on productivity and how working remotely can help support that balance. Economic realities like cost of living and long commutes have impelled employees’ decisions to move their careers from the corporate office to the home office. And organizations of all sizes have realized that offering remote work is a smart financial move, resulting in significantly reduced overhead expenses.
These factors, coupled with the continued increase in access to broadband, made for what would be the “perfect storm” in early 2020 when COVID-19 mercilessly continued its rapid spread across the globe, bringing some organizations to a grinding halt while others continued to do business as usual, almost as if nothing had never happened.
It’s clear that the companies who had already adopted a remote work environment for their employees were able to adapt most readily to both voluntary and mandatory shutdowns, while others struggled to cobble together impromptu remote work systems (which often amounted to ZOOM meetings and web-based email clients) just to keep their employees working at even the most basic productivity level. To say that they were caught off guard would be a massive understatement.
However, those organizations that already had their essential assets such as images, documents, video clips and branding materials in a digital asset management (DAM) system discovered that their workflows had been minimally impacted by the shutdowns—particularly those with employees and/or clients based in multiple countries around the world.
Why? Because an effectively managed DAM has no geographic boundaries. It is easily accessible by users at all levels of the organization. And it supports a productive workflow by streamlining the search for—and distribution of—your company’s most critical digital assets.
Isn’t just having a DAM good enough?
Not necessarily. Even the most extensive DAM collections aren’t worth a damn if its users can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Not only are countless hours wasted searching for poorly named or tagged assets, but these delays often can (and do!) impact everyone’s productivity by disrupting an entire project workflow, or even worse, result in a missed deadline.
Now, imagine the difference it would make if your team had access to MerlinOne’s digital asset management productivity tools to easily search, organize, version, approve and share your company’s digital content—regardless of their geographic location.
You can greatly extend the value and reach of your DAM by bringing outside collaborators and partners into your current projects with MerlinOne’s Content Hub. Ditch the dreaded FTP and easily share select assets with media outlets, partners, ad agencies, or even the public. And with our flexible security options, Content Hub can be configured to allow access via a web link or require a login for more sensitive content.
Even the very light DAM user—who only needs access for basic actions such as uploading, searching, downloading, editing metadata and sharing—becomes a content super hero with access to tools like MerlinOne’s MX Basic, with its simple and easy-to-navigate interface that scales to any device.
And with tools like MerlinOne’s NOMAD™, users can go beyond the traditional textual metadata search and instead find assets in your DAM based on visual search using attributes like the physical description of an object or scene, or even concepts and emotions such as alternative energy or happy children.
Users can also tap into MerlinOne’s multiple deep learning algorithms to quickly find and identify a person’s face with MerlinAI Facial Recognition, while MerlinAI Visual Similarity finds photos in your DAM with similar visual qualities, helping to cut those countless and laborious hours having to manually search through the images.
But if you still don’t believe that improved digital asset management can affect your workflow, Merlin Reporting will track and measure the effectiveness of your DAM with ad-hoc reporting and analytics that will help you understand who is accessing your DAM and how your digital assets are being used by your employees as well as your customers and clients. You can stop wasting your time on anecdotal evidence or trial and error solutions, and instead see exactly where you can make real improvements that will increase workflow efficiency across your entire organization.
Where will you be when the dust settles?
If the events in the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the so-called new normal is anything but normal. Constant—and sometimes disruptive—change will only continue to challenge the status quo, making it more apparent that remote work capabilities will likely be a critical factor in how you manage your company’s own new normal.
- According to LinkedIn, the number of remote jobs advertised on their platform has increased from 1.4% of postings (roughly 1 in 67) to more than 14% (about 1 in 7) since 2020. Add to that, 59% of the respondents to an Owl Labs survey said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work and 74% said that having a remote work opportunity would make them less likely to leave a company. So if you want to attract the best talent, know that you’re in for some steep competition, particularly if you’re not remote ready.
- A typical U.S. employer saves an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, according to estimates in a Global Workplace Analytics study, with increased productivity cited as the largest contributor, making up over half that figure. That cost savings, combined with the additional productivity potential from an effectively managed DAM, can have an exponential effect on your company’s bottom line.
Getting the picture?
The evidence is clear: remote work isn’t just a passing trend. And just keeping your team connected is no longer good enough to stay successful. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Contact us for a demo of any of our DAM productivity tools and start building a more productive remote work environment for your organization today.