Chapter One: The Breakroom aka Black Hole

I am going to let you in on a secret.

Our clients already know this. MarketMatch is a virtual marketing firm. Meaning, everyone who works for MarketMatch works from home. For some that’s Minnesota. For others Nebraska. For the rest, we’re based throughout Ohio.

When it comes to working together and getting the job done, being virtual is not a problem. In fact, I find the virtual work space more efficient. I don’t need a shared physical space to communicate,to share ideas and feedback. I don’t need a creative rumpus room with a dartboard, brainstorming couch and Nerf basketball hoop to get into my “creative zone.”

At MarketMatch, we’re as collaborative and efficient a team as any I have worked on during my many years with various ad agencies. Amazing how these phone things work. I can talk to someone on the other end to resolve matters or clarify directions just as easily as I could by walking into their office. Actually, to the advantage of our clients, the fact that we DON’T share a physical space eliminates one of the biggest agency TIME SUCKS of all:

The breakroom … aka the BLACK HOLE.

As you can imagine, Mondays are the worst. Perhaps it’s like this at your bank or credit union. As staff congregate in the breakroom (the Black Hole,) eyelids half mast, hands reaching blindly for coffee mugs, the conversation turns to the weekend’s sports as a handful of diehards cycle through the high and low points of games. Or, Lane from IT is telling Sherry from Accounting about his bad burrito at Nuevo’s—which she recommended. It’s like the old joke: “I stopped working from home because I missed hanging out at the water cooler.” You get the picture. The breakroom eats up a lot of valuable time, and if you multiply all those conversations by the number of staff … ouch. Not only that, but as part of the agency’s overhead you’re probably paying to stock their breakroom with those fancy coffee pump pots and coffee, the vanilla crème and hazelnut creamers, stir sticks, pink packets of artificial sweetner and on and on …

But not at MarketMatch.

We don’t have a breakroom. When we roll out of bed, we’re already IN the office, on the clock and on the job. Your job. Your project. Being virtual translates into more concentrated work/computer time, which usually means a faster turn time on projects. The reality of working in a virtual space eliminates a lot of the more wasteful and counter-productive activity that working in a physical space all to easily promotes.

Bottom line: Working with a virtual marketing firm like MarketMatch translates into lower overhead for you and lower hourly costs. You’re not paying to stock our breakroom. You’re not paying for our retro lobby furniture, or a receptionist who’s ready to patch you through to the voicemail box of someone who’s “away from my desk right now.” It also means a more strategic use of your marketing dollars as you won’t find mysterious line items and unexpected charges related to the administrative expenses due to layers of account people logging hours.

From where I sit, “virtual” equals a leaner, more responsive, and less costly marketing partner. From where you sit, doesn’t that sound like the kind of team you want in your corner?

I will be back next week with another chapter from Confessions of a Virtual Employee.