For all of the benefits that stem from managing a remote team – including time-savings and lower costs – there are a number of challenges. It is fortunate that modern technology makes this a feasible reality. However, it is still uncharted territory for many. Here are some helpful productivity tips for virtual teams.
Use a collaboration platform
Working in the same physical space helps with time management and collaboration. When everyone is in the same place, emails and phone calls may be enough to keep everyone connected and on task. However, when your team is spread out across multiple locations, your communication and project management need processes to be more intentional. Consider using an online collaboration platform that can keep all of your projects and teams on the same page. This makes it easy to track progress, communicate with your teams, set goals and deadlines, and answer questions in one place instead of tracking down various emails or messages across different platforms.
Hire the right people
While remote work is widely available and being implemented by many companies, virtual work might not be right for everyone. This type of work environment requires people to be self-sufficient and motivated, with the support of their virtual team managers. When building your teams, make sure you hire people that can work and thrive in a remote work setup.
Create office hours + flex hours
A common issue with remote teams is a lack of continuity, often exacerbated by a lack of structure. Flexible work schedules that allow team members to work a reasonable schedule that fits their needs and lifestyle is a great benefit to offer. However, there needs to be some structure. For best results, create standard office hours and supplement them with flex hours. For example, standard office hours might be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During this five-hour stretch, everyone is expected to be at their desk and on-call. For the other three hours, team members can choose when they want to work.
Treat time zones fairly
Businesses with numerous locations are likely already accustomed to working around time zones, but businesses with new work-from-home plans need to remember time zone differences. Don’t expect an employee from California to be on a conference call at 8 am EST – having flexible hours will help everyone stay more productive.
Establishing and maintaining a successful virtual team is no easy matter, but it is a worthwhile endeavour. Be sure to perform regular self-evaluations to determine what is working and what is not. Don’t be afraid to switch things up if something isn’t working well. Ask for feedback from your team. If you stick to the key items enumerated above, a successful virtual workforce is well within your grasp.
If you’re looking for assistance in recruiting your virtual team, make sure you get in touch with one of or Consultants today!