Reading Time: 2 minutes

True collaboration happens when each team member stays in their own lane. According to research done by the Harvard Business Review (as noted in an article by Project Risk Leader), clearly defining people’s roles and responsibilities matters more when determining a team’s success. When working on a plan for each of our clients or even on our own internal materials, we all have our place to take and it’s crucial that we each focus on what our individual jobs are to get things done.

By concentrating on what we’re individually responsible for, we avoid redundancy and doing excess work. This saves time and money.  According to a recent survey done by Zapier, people spend approximately four to five hours a day on core job functions. That won’t cut it when there are deadlines to make and projects to complete. There is only so much time in the day and in our industry, you can’t waste a minute of it.

With tasks assigned, teams set, and targets to hit, we ensure that everything gets done in a timely manner. This works especially well when those assigned to a task are experts in their field. While we ensure that cross training happens in our office, so that there is always coverage, we still consider the lead person in each department, whether that be a digital specialist, social media specialist, OOH specialist, etc. as the one taking charge on their share of the project we are working on.

Focusing on specific assignments lowers the risk of missing important tasks. We’ve all worked with someone who feels they need to jump in on a task that wasn’t theirs to begin with and inevitably they end up not getting their own work done. By keeping focused on each of our jobs and goals, we eliminate delays and missed opportunities in our own work.

It’s also good to point out that moving into someone else’s lane and stepping on their toes can create unhealthy competition between colleagues. No team works well when there are people on it that feel angry or frustrated. A study was done by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School that showed that workers are 13% more productive when happy. Teams that work well together are made up of happy employees. Happy employees are pleased with their jobs and in turn produce better work.

Having each member of the A3 Media team focus on their department, allows us to get more done in less time, bring additional attention to details, and work smarter not harder. After nearly 30 years, we pride ourselves on being a well-oiled machine. That doesn’t happen by chance.

Our teams work as individual spokes in the wheel. Each person has his or her own responsibilities and understands what to focus on to keep things rolling. We’ve even taken classes and received certifications in our own various fields of expertise. Whether it be business development and client relations, to various levels of media planning for TV, radio, OOH, digital and so on, to trafficking and accounting, we are all growing and moving in the same forward direction. And with that, we guarantee our focus is on what’s most important to our clients… their media goals and campaign success.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Employees heading up and down stairs showing replacement

Today in an age of large masses of people coming and going from job to job or retiring, it’s hard on those of us who remain in place just trying to do our jobs.

There has been a lot of turnover lately, people leaving jobs, moving to other positions, many companies are understaffed and the staff they do have in many cases are pulling double duty. This is happening in most every sector. The overall turnover rate for 2021 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 57%. Their used to be a time that job hopping was NOT something you wanted on your resume or something you ever wanted to see reviewing an applicant. Times sure have changed!

Fortunately, we are not one of those companies experiencing these problems of in and out. However, we are feeling the effects of this new norm. We work very closely with our outside vendors (some now for decades) and over the last 6 months, it seems we are getting notified weekly of an Account Executive change. 

This constant changing of the guard affects us in many ways, everything from getting reports to receiving our invoices in a timely manner. We have deadlines and are responsible for gathering and submitting campaign data back to our clients. On top of these obvious items there are numerous details about how we do business, intricacies on each one of our buys. Through time, we have developed a nice working relationship with our Account Executives, and they know our procedures and the level of detail we require prior to clearing invoices. We have a signed written agreement with all AE’s that is called “The Procedure letter” that has in detail how we work and what will be required prior to payment. I had previously discussed this letter in detail, so, we’ll stick to the topic.

When a change occurs, there is obviously a learning curve. These new employees need to learn their new roll, get acquainted with everyone as well as the clients they just inherited. They might need to take some training courses and learn their companies’ procedures. All of this could take weeks and, in some cases, months. It takes time to build the right team, even when we all don’t work for the same companies. In many cases, the person coming in and taking over our account is not really focused on our buy and more likely trying to get acclimated.

Shouldn’t we have in place a better system when an important cog is missing? I only think we have two choices; we develop a new position called the “understudy” to help keep up with the everyday details or we all start to cross train people. Here at A3 Media this is always on our mind as we continue to grow and service our current clients. We always need to have a backup for every job mainly due to our workloads change almost daily. We have systems in place and communicate internally about every detail on our buys with all members of our team to ensure that if someone is busy working on another project, someone can step in and take care of our most important asset, our clients.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Motivational quote on black board with alarm clock

To say that the pandemic affected everyone in unexpected ways is an understatement. The pandemic redefined the phrase, “it can all change in an instant”. Just like thousands of other people, in May of 2020, I was laid off with the promise of being rehired when lockdown ended. And in August of 2020, I was rehired and thought everything was going to go back to normal. I was very wrong. In January of 2021 I was laid off again. Only this time, it was permanent. My brain went into literal overdrive thinking about all the unanswered questions. How was I going to make rent? How was I going to find a job? What if, I couldn’t make ends meet? What if, I didn’t qualify for unemployment this time around? And how do I even go about applying for it if I was already on it once before?

When something unexpected in your life happens, you have several options on how to react. You can panic and freak out. You can sit down and make a logical plan, or you can choose to ignore it for as long as possible to avoid dealing with it. I opted for all of the above. Within the first few hours of being laid off I went through every emotion possible. I was angry at my boss for not being able to keep us afloat once we went back to work after the lockdown. I was frustrated that I had lost my job for a second time knowing there was no chance of ever going back. I was afraid of not being able to find a job and losing my apartment. I was sad I had lost a job I loved, and it wasn’t even my fault. I was anxious and panicked about what to do next. For a brief moment, I was even happy and excited that this might be an opportunity to do something different in my career path.

Part of me wanted to avoid dealing with my problems for as long as possible because I knew it wasn’t going to be a simple fix. I also knew that the amount of effort it was going to take to fix my problem was not something I was ready to put forth. Another part of me wanted to take this time to take a mental break from working and just have fun and enjoy myself while I could, because I knew I was moving in a few months’ time and was about to start that process as well.

I decided to allow myself a week to get over the initial shock and work through all the emotions I was feeling. Some might think I was crazy not to apply for jobs right away, especially since I had just had a break when I was laid off the first time, but I knew this was what I needed to do. I cleaned my apartment, I finally found the time to paint, played some video games, watched movies, and allowed my brain to take a break.

When the week was up, I polished up my resume and cover letter, and started searching for jobs. Now that I have moved and started a new job and am back on my feet, I can honestly say I made the right decision taking that time for myself. For those that are still going through what I went through, be patient. Lean on your friends and family for advice. Talking through what happened helped give me a clear head. Take time for yourself, focus on your hobbies, spend more time with friends and family, do whatever you think you need to do to get through this frustrating time. Good luck.

Written by:
Ali Menard
Development & Graphics Team Member

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic it is estimated that only 6% of the US workforce worked remotely. Due to the pandemic that number jumped to a high of 70% in April 2019.

There are benefits to remote and/or hybrid work models for both business and the workforce.

What are the benefits on the workforce side?
  • Remote employees save an average of 40 minutes daily from commuting.
  • Since 2020 people have been meeting by video calls 50% more since COVID-19.
  • After COVID-19, 92% of people surveyed expect to work from home at least 1 day per week and 80% expected to work at least 3 days from home per week.
  • 23% of those surveyed would take a 10% pay cut to work from home permanently.
  • People are saving on average close to $500 per month being at home during COVID-19. Resulting in savings close to $6000 per year.
  • 81% of those surveyed believe their employer will continue to support remote work after COVID-19.
  • 59% of respondents said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work compared to those who didn’t.
What are the benefits of remote working for employers?
  • Surveys show companies save an estimated $11,000 per year savings per remote employee.
  • Geographic boundaries removed allow for a larger talent pool to fill positions
  • Lower absenteeism rates
  • Office “Politics” reduced or eliminated
Why don’t people want to return to a traditional work model?
  • Change in daily routine: 27%
  • Being away from family or pets: 26%
  • Office politics and distractions: 34%
  • Childcare or caregiver responsibilities: 15%
  • Lack of health and safety measures (i.e., wearing a mask, social distancing): 32%
  • Being required to adhere to health and safety measures: 21%
The negative impacts to business:
  • The belief that workers will slack off if “no one is looking.”
  • Employers are afraid employees are more likely to engage in improper behavior while working from home, such as visiting inappropriate websites.
  • Employees might misuse company equipment or information.
  • This kind of distrust often results in many employers trying to monitor their employees who work from home.

While this “new normal” has both positives and negatives there is also a serious risk associated with remote work. Removing a secure network environment can have unforeseen and potentially wide spread and costly consequences.

  • Phishing Schemes
  • Weak Passwords
  • Unencrypted File Sharing
  • Insecure Home Wi-Fi
  • Working from Personal Devices

Cybersecurity spending is expected to increase at a double-digit rate in 2021, driven primarily by the need to enable employees to work from anywhere. Gartner is forecasting worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services will grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion in 2021.

The long-term impact of a remote or hybrid workforce will be reviewed and analyzed for years but one thing has already emerged as a result, “…. what we’re seeing in the data is a shift in people’s mindset post-pandemic.” This new remote/hybrid work model has changed the landscape of employee – employer relationships. The 2nd quarter of 2021 saw the highest number of US workers voluntarily leaving their jobs as business started to reopen. The workforce has readjusted their priorities. Even workers who are not able to do remote work are feeling empowered to ask for more in terms of work-life balance. It would appear that a mutually beneficial relationship has taken a back seat, for now.