No Office? Strategies for Managing Virtual Business Teams
Due to Covid, more and more frequently people are working from home and it look like this trend is here to stay, at least for some percentage of the workforce. Managing an entirely virtual team can be challenging, but a few strategies make it quite possible, so you can reap the benefits of this new model.
Here are some suggestions on how to make it work!
Hire People Who Live within a 90 minute Drive of the office
Having a virtual office means you can open up your labor pool and find talent anywhere a person has an internet connection. But after several months of strictly working in separate locations, many companies find the needs to meet in person, at least periodically. If someone needs to drive to the only occasionally, a 90 minute commute is doable for most people if they only have to drive it once in awhile.
Not everyone works well on his or her own, especially people with little prior training and/or experience. They may lack the knowledge needed to complete tasks and feel overwhelmed working independently without a guiding hand close by. This is where experience and/or well trained workers might have an edge. If they confident they can get the job completed, they might be more a ‘self starter’ and ultimately more productive than someone with less experience under their belt.
Personality Types that Work Well From Home
Working independently takes a certain personality type. According to INC. Magazine, people who can be successful working from home will have some combination of the following personality traits.
- Self-Motivation and Disciplined
- Have Good Communication Skills
- Tend to be Introverted
- Technically Competent
- Be Creative and Have Some Fun Together Virtually
Staring at a screen all day is very taxing and can be very isolating. Most people (even introverts) enjoy some ‘down time’ and just visiting with coworkers. As a manager it’s your job to get creative and help employees stay engaged with one another in a fun If you aren’t the creative type, hire someone to help or Google is an awesome tool to get ideas.
Measure on results
Managing a virtual team requires letting go of the idea that being at a desk for a certain number of hours each day equals steady productivity. Some employees might be more productive in the evening, or early.Allowing flexibility in their work hours and letting the employee set their own daily schedule will earn loyalty. But, it’s important for the manager to set clear production goals and measure results. This will help the employee stay focused and on task.
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