Tips from the Experts: How to Keep Remote Workers Engaged and Connected

August 8, 2018

// By Wendy Stark Healy //

Wendy Stark HealyFive years ago, Allyson Collins was the first person hired in the digital communications team at NYU Langone Health in New York City. She was challenged with relaunching two extensive websites — one for consumers and one for an academic audience — with thousands of pages each. A year into the massive project, she had one problem. She could hire only one employee.

Her solution to manage this much work was to build a remote team of freelancers. Today, the senior director of digital communications has a staff of 14 but still relies heavily on remote help, employing from eight to 20 freelancers, depending on project scope.

Allyson Collins, senior director of digital communications at NYU Langone Health

Allyson Collins, senior director of digital communications at NYU Langone Health

With New York City office space limited and expensive, this remote approach allows Collins to staff up or down according to workflow. “Having a remote team has allowed me to have a larger team,” she says. “It also gives us the flexibility to expand our efforts when needed and have amazing writers and editors who work freelance but would never have looked to be a full-time part of my team.”

While Collins chose to build a remote team, many of her marketing and communications colleagues find themselves managing remotely, whether they would choose to or not, as health care organizations merge and grow.

With lean teams and shrinking prospects for adding FTEs, and the growing challenges of managing across large, multi-state systems, health care marketers are adopting a flexible approach to staffing to meet the needs of their organizations. In addition to Collins’ perspective, we’ll hear from Julie Lindsay, director of digital services at SCL Health; Pam Landis, vice president of information and analytic services at Atrium Health; and Nick Ragone, vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at Ascension Health.

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