12 August, 2019

Top 5 Tips to Help You Manage Your Virtual Team

By the year 2020, 50% of people will have joined the remote workforce. This means more businesses are moving toward a virtual office space. 

It's true that remote workers experience a better work-life balance. This often results in a boost in productivity for your business.

Yet, the team still needs to get properly managed and feel connected to a common goal. This works to help define and maintain your corporate structure and company culture.  

So, what are the best techniques for growing a talented remote workforce? Read on for 5 successful ways of managing a virtual team. 

1. Make Communication as Easy and Efficient as Possible 

So, what is a virtual team? It's a group of individuals that get hired by the same company to work towards a common goal. These employees can come from all over the world to collaborate together. 

This makes it essential for employees to get well-informed on their responsibilities. There should also be a full understanding of company policies, goals, and updates. This works to help avoid miscommunication or feelings of disconnect.

There are many project management tools to use for keeping everyone on the same page. These digital organization methods keep better track of projects and scheduling. Virtual phone systems and conference calls make it easier to handle team meetings.  

It also helps to have a point of contact and designated support system in place. This makes it easier for communication to flow between employees and upper management. Ensure you're also working to limit any language barriers when managing virtual teams. 

Having a virtual open-door policy makes staff feel more comfortable asking for help. This makes it easy for them to get questions and concerns answered in a shorter time. 

The use of social media and newsletters can help communicate news and updates. These work to keep staff well-connected and stay on top of everything. Team Facebook groups allow you to host live chats where staff can engage and ask questions. 

It's also a good idea to have a digital place for staff members to communicate with each other. This includes networks like Google Hangouts or Slack.  

2. Define Your Company Culture 

Having a virtual address doesn't negate the need to create a strong company culture. This helps the staff to define themselves and their work environment. It also sets company goals, expected work ethic, and standards for professionalism. 

Having common goals and feeling connected also makes employees feel more productive. This helps to attract loyal employees who desire a better work-life balance. The result is more flexibility and satisfied employees. 

Your company culture can stem from your mission statement and business plan. Be sure to translate your company culture across different mediums.   

One way to do this is with a handbook that gets shared with new hires. Google Docs is an easy way to post and share company policies and best practices. Employees should also get told expected work output for every day or week.

The interviewing process is also important for the management of virtual teams. It pays to hire the right people that mesh well with your company culture. Yet, you still want to promote diversity in the workplace.

New hires should have experience in managing their own workload. They should have excellent time management and communication skills.  

3. Be Available, but Don't Micromanage

Virtual teams work best when they have the freedom to make their own decisions. This allows them to feel more valued and satisfied with their work. It increases productivity and employee morale.  

Do this while still letting them know you're available for support or advice if needed.  Giving examples and detailed descriptions also allow less room for error.  

Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure everyone's on the same page. Here you can answer any questions, go over new projects, and provide feedback. This set routine will help the entire team to function better and know what gets expected of them. 

Video conference calls are an easy and efficient way to hold meetings for the whole team. Yet, be sure to choose a time that works well for the group as a whole.

Remote teams often work in different time zones. Selecting the right meeting time ensures everyone's participation gets included and valued. 

4. Place Value on Accountability  

Only 6% of workers still follow a typical 9 to 5 workday. Working hours are much more flexible, which is a huge perk for the modern-day employee. 

Yet, it's important to still manage every employee's accountability. This ensures every team member is producing their best work while meeting deadlines. 

This style of virtual management works to meet company standards and guidelines. This way you can take action against employees who go against company policy. As well as those who you notice a decline in their work output or quality.  

It also helps to offer constructive criticism and praise when due. This is a great way to further boost productivity in a virtual workplace. 

5. Offer Tips and Extra Resources  

There are many perks of being a remote worker. Yet, it always helps to offer extra support and learning resources to guide and grow a virtual team.   

This includes offering new training courses and online seminars. You can also share smart tips for managing a virtual workload.

You may also want to offer opportunities to move up in the company and take on more work. This helps employees to feel valued, resulting in less turnover.

Leadership potential should still get recognized in a virtual office. These employees should get given more responsibility and new tasks.  

Team-building activities are another way to connect and engage with virtual workers. You can host an annual meet up for employees that can attend. This creates a sense of community and makes workers feel more appreciated. 

Finding Success When Managing a Virtual Team

These tips make it easier for businesses to be successful in managing a virtual team. The result is a strong and skilled team with high productivity levels and job satisfaction. 

Interested in learning more about the innovation behind a virtual address? Contact Hoxton Mix to discuss the ways your business can benefit from a virtual office.  

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