Is Getting Hit On Part of the Game?

“Can I film you saying happy birthday for a friend in France?” asked the guy in the conference. “Sure” I replied; after all what’s the harm in my face being sent across the world to wish a happy birthday. But as the guy took a few big steps backwards and aimed his camera phone slightly lower, it made me cringe inside (whilst simultaneously tugging down my dress). I had signed up to promote a company and I was aware it included wearing rather big heels and a very tiny dress, but I was starting to feel like a dolled up puppet.

According to this American promo girl, getting hit on is part of the game. It’s going to happen, and we have to accept it. “If you become a promo gal or booth babe, you are presenting yourself as a sex object” she says. Whilst I do agree that it’s going to Credit: www.mollieinseattle.comhappen, especially when we’re asked to slip – or is it squeeze – into a second spandex skin with the brand name written across our butts, I also firmly believe promo staff can change this image.

Just like air stewardesses used to be picked for their looks but now must demonstrate a variety of skills, the same is also happening for promotional staff. Experiential marketing is about a customer’s experience with you and it’s not just about making them feel good via a little flirt; there are so many other channels through which to engage. By demonstrating, informing, asking questions and yes, having a laugh – without the sleaze.

Agencies are catching on to this and offering ‘more than just beautiful staff’, whilst also making an effort to find our more about you as a person. They want to know what you studied, your talents, interests, and hobbies to be able to present you as a person, not just a picture. By doing so, the lucky folk who get to take part in your event don’t remember you as just a pretty girl – or guy – who was trying to sell a piece of kit. Instead, they have a genuine experience and form a memory, still associated with the brand, of a person who intrigued them with their knowledge, smiles, and sense of fun.

Clearing Your Staffing Books

Most agencies do an occasional clearance of their books in order to retain only the active, engaged, and ready-to-work staff, whilst opening up the doors for fresh talent to join.

But how do you know who is reading your emails and logging in regularly, vs disconnected staff who have long forgotten about their accounts?

As we know Watu inside-out, back-to-front and…well, however else you know a software system, we have an idea of how you could be clearing your staffing books;

  1. Ask us (via info@watuapp.com) to create a new profile template question. For Example: Title “Registration 2015” Sentence “Do you want to stay registered in 2015?”
  2. Message all your staff asking them to log on and answer the new question
  3. When ready, export ‘All Staffers’ and you will be able to see who answered yes vs who answered no or didn’t answer at all

This process will help you to check who is actively checking your emails, logging into their accounts and staying connected with your agency without having to go through hundreds – or thousands – of email responses. Only those keen to stay on your books and willing to work enthusiastically will take the step of answering ‘yes’, meaning the others who have found new jobs, moved abroad or have started some trip around the world will be moved to ‘suspended’. And if they get back in touch with a sudden renewed interest in working for you? Just click into their profiles to bring them back on board.

Is Your Office Atmosphere Down in the Dumps?

The other day I googled “office staff at computers”. This was my result:

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Apparently office workers pull some weird faces.

Seriously? Is working in an office so achingly boring and frustrating that you want to smash your computer with a hammer? Of course we all have some days when we feel like any of the above – apart from the guy who is scared of his computer – but there are so many ways to create a pleasant atmosphere in the space where we spend so much of our lives.

After snooping around a few blogs, here are a few of my favourite ideas to keep your office atmosphere chirpy:

Flexible Time

Some days you feel like working like a maniac. Others, you may feel like the guy in the pink shirt; it’s just not your day and you’d rather be anywhere else. Giving employees the freedom of flexible hours and even working from home offers them a benefit many would choose over extra cash. Encourage people to work according to their schedules – as long as it suits your events, too – and see their best work yet.

Make it Pretty

We all love pretty things, even when it comes to office supplies. I hope it’s not just me who gets really excited to write in a Moleskin notebook with a jet-black, smooth-tipped pen? Or is that just my inner stationery geek coming out? Invest in some good quality and visually appealing supplies including stationery, furniture, decor and lighting to create an easy-on-the-eyes space inspiring efficient yet creative results.

Shared Lunch Space

An office I previously worked in one day banned eating at the desk and required that anyone eating in the office, did so at the shared table. Such a simple change, but a brilliant one. Cue genuine conversations, shared ideas between various departments, company bonding, cleared minds, and happier staff.

 Ditch the Chairs

Why is so accepted that we must be ‘chained to our chairs’? We’ve cut our links this idea and work a combination of standing and sitting. In fact, right now I’m pretty much in ‘lounging’ position with my feet kicked up and a backwards lean. Provide various working spaces – standing, sitting, …squatting? – in different situations like social desks, private spaces and so on to target each individuals’ ideal working environment. Try out a walking meeting in the park, smell some fresh air and feel inspired by your change in scenery to better your business.

These ideas, and so many more, are already becoming popular as companies realise that happy environment equals happy staff equals better results. Let’s all focus on people, whether your internal employees or hard-working field staff, and change those search results from the glum to the cheery lady in pink.

 

 

F.lux for Better Sleep

Your work may be keeping you up at night, but not for reasons you may think. Ever go to take care of a last minute email late at night? Or log on just to make things are ok before slipping into bed? If so, by simply looking at your computer screen, you’re straining your eyes and resetting your internal sleep clock thanks to the artificial light.

So what’s the solution? We’ve found it in a handy and free little app called f.lux. This software matches your computer screen light to your environment, providing brighter, cooler blue light during the day and a softer, warmer yellow light in the evenings. The thingis, it becomes such a natural light that you won’t even notice your screen is tinted – until you turn it off and are blinded by the cold glare of your device.

Curbing that 'eerie blue glow' from your screen
Curbing that ‘eerie blue glow’ from your screen

Wait, why is Watu talking about saving our eyes and getting better sleep? Well, firstly because we’re a tech-savvy team who also invests in our health, and we’d like to share our knowledge with you (oh, and we’re not the only ones giving f.lux the thumbs up). But also because the world would be a happier place if everyone got a bit more sleep, don’t you think?

Office or Field Staff Roles: Which is Better?

Agency office staff have super cushy jobs compared to field staff. A commute to work they can do with their eyes closed, a guaranteed payment each month, legendary Christmas parties and free samples showing up to the office for everyone to dig into. Right? Well technically, yes, but…is it really that one-sided?

Having worked both in the field and in an office for a number of years, I thought it would be interesting to compare the perks of office-workin’ vs field-workin’:

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Credit: sites.google.com

Office Wins

  • You know you will be paid each month, and how much. You can actually budget your life.
  • Weekends off (er…sometimes).
  • Unlimited coffees and teas all day.
  • Swiftly followed by easy bathroom access all day.
  • Corner shop sweet runs.
  • Your atmosphere is temperature regulated unlike outdoor cold/raining/windy work.
  • Finding your way to work doesn’t involve mapping out new routes every few days.
  • You can wear your own clothes instead of bizarre promo outfits in size XXL.
  • Your cheeks aren’t aching by the end of the day from having to smile for 8 hours straight.

Ok that all sounds seriously good. So what advantages could field staff possibly have?

Field Wins 

  • You get to be at the events. Like Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Coachella, and a whole host of food festivals.
  • You decide when you want to work.
  • Travel is often paid
  • Sample trading at aforementioned food festivals. This is pretty much equal to going home with a goody basket.
  • Your colleagues tend to be super fun, outgoing and up for a laugh and if they’re not, well you’ll have a different team next job anyway.
  • Your days in the field are active and varied…you may spend the day on your feet, but at least it’s not with your butt smooshed into a chair and your eyes turning square.
  • Roadshows take you exploring around the finest sites.
  • Free clothes at the end of the job – very occasionally actually passable as a normal outfit.
  • Not having to worry about clients, drop-outs and targets helps to bring out that 8-hour smile.
  • Your job ends when the clock strikes your finishing hour. This could not be more untrue for office roles.

So, it turns out that actually both office and field roles have their advantages depending on your personality, your attitude and what kind of lifestyle is right for you. The list could go on and on so add your office/field wins in the comments!

Can Staffing Management Software Impact Your Reputation?

Where your office is based, your website, your on-site staff performances…all of these come together to form part of your reputation as a business. So, is it fair to say your staffing management software will also have a piece of the pie? We think so – in fact, we think it has a fairly thick slice and here is why:

Faster Response Times

The phone rings at 5:30 pm. Your eye is on the clock but the client is asking for 5 staff tomorrow morning. Within 15 minutes the job is built, your target group of field staff selected and sent and invitation email. Applications start appearing and come 5:55pm all shifts are booked with confirmation emails sent. All wrapped up, not only do you get to head off to your pilates class on time, but you’ve seriously impressed your client with the ease, efficiency and rapidity of the response you provided.

And how was this possible? Through canned messages, integrated coding providing links to relevant information, responsive staff who understand how the system works, and minimal click solutions to get you off the phone and staying one step ahead.

Modern Technology

Not only will clients be impressed with the speed at which you work, they’ll have confidence in you to be on the ball, organised and efficient, with the information they need at your fingertips. Whiz over staff profiles with selective information, notes and the clients’ own logo. Find brand trained staff within seconds. Book jobs with the best-fit staff based on your staff questionnaire. With Watu, you’re using the latest and greatest in information technology backed up by a team of dedicated developers who strive to create an even better system each day.

Staff Side

And it’s not all about your clients. Your staff speak loudly about which agencies they love, who pays on time, who provides clear communication. Field staff can actually be your biggest advocates as long as they’re valued members of your team. By being able to manage their own profiles, staff can assume independence over the jobs they apply to, shifts they can work, as well as view and manage their payments. Processes are streamlined and transparent helping to foster a sense of trust and loyalty, so next time there’s a bit of chatter between staff about which agency is the best, your name just may come up.

One last point about staff – at Watu I also provide direct customer support for all staff. There’s no different if a manager or a field staff member reaches out for help; as a team we’ll always go our furthest to lend a hand to any user of Watu.

So whether client side or staff side, Watu can form a core part of your business and help to propel you forward. Securing your reputation as a reliable and responsive agency could very well depend on your use of Watu – though, of course, we’re happy to stay behind the scenes and let you take all the credit..!