When it comes about building a successful virtual work team, we understand that situations are different from face-to-face work. However, nowadays technology allows people from different cultures to gather in pro of a virtual business. Nevertheless, I consider that work members should own some necessary aptitudes in order to grow as a virtual community and cultivate an effective work environment.
Virtual teams should have or aim to:
Communication skills in order to communicate properly. Keep into account that, factors such as body language and personal perceptions would be out of the table. So in order to keep track of your employee’s situation, verbal exchange should be optimum when distance is the main factor in your business. Subsequently, we encourage you to explore more about your people in order to establish a trust bonding.
High emotional intelligence:
As a leader you must guarantee yourself that your employees would be able to deliver you a satisfying work, not only in the case you are not physically present but also in the case you are not online and fully available for them. Therefore your employees must have a well situated level of confidence in order to solve technical hitches that might be relate with connection or tasks demands.
A sense of responsibility is vital in any job position, however when it comes about working with a long-distance team, self-consciousness of the work is essential. Verify this characteristic is present in your employees in order to assure a productive trajectory in the work environment.
Regarding delegate functions in your virtual work-team, clarify tasks, processes, goals are necessary. Coordination and planning ahead is key when your employees and you are not in the same country. So even though it might be challenging it is important to focus more attention on the details of task design and the processes that will be used to accomplish them. Subsequently keep track by doing “after-action reviews” to evaluate how things are going and identify process adjustments and training needs.
Create the content, goals, tasks schedule:
Reinforce your employee’s commitment by requiring a planning ahead schedule. This might be useful in virtual offices where you can’t know 100% if your work-team is actually working for you. In addition this schedule planning can be also benefits for your business and for payment day, if you get what they planned they deserve proper remuneration.
Keep into account that monitoring phases are necessary in order to improve staff skills. In the case of virtual work-team, we suggest you to take time for regular group calls or even videoconferencing time which can be supportive for establishing empathy and trust. However, if you are aiming for a more direct connection to each one of your employees, we advise you to explore the effects of direct calls and texting, being the last one a documented backup and therefore becomes a searchable database.
Designate a communication platform and stick to it:
In order to cultivate an appropriate communication, choose a channel for you and all your employees in order to stay connect when emails or other events might complicate feedbacks. Take into account that even though your employees should be able to deal with tasks and unpredicted work situations, they should be able to contact you at any time or at least use these channel assistance.
So, whether is your work-team in another county or abroad, these virtual teams require other kinds of management methods that in comparison with traditional management advice and operational procedures, may not apply.
To sum up we think is accurate to bring up two more values to practice in virtual offices where distance is an issue: respect and understanding. These two last words would guarantee you loyalty and productivity which are the principles of success in any business. In my personal way to look at things, I must say that respect must be present in any human interaction, however in a work-team should be present daily, but not only as a polite sing of education but also as a sing of admiration to the addition that each member of our team have to offer to professionally.
Understanding comes after recognize the contribution to any task, project or schedule plan. Therefore, in order to run a virtual office properly, my personal advice would be: establish a good human connection combining empathy in a personal level and professional vision focused on what employees can do to contribute in your company or small business.