8 Useful Tips For Managing Virtual Teams
Did you know that freelance workers make up more than 35 percent of current US workforce?
According to a large-scale survey, over 53.7 million people in the United States of America worked from home in 2015.
And now in 2017, the number should be even higher.
Chances are you already are one of working from home part-time or fulltime maybe for your clients from around the world or for your own online business.
If you are not yet, you should consider working online to have the advantages such as flexible work hours, being your own boss and much more.
You can be part of a team or lead a successful virtual team.
Here are some helpful tips you should apply when managing a virtual team:
1. Hire the Right People
When working online, you might get frustrated by low-quality workers.
Yes, it is natural that you will always want to hire people who charge less for the services you are looking for.
But sometimes a bad selection can be a complete waste of time and money for you.
You either train newbies to do specific jobs or invest in people with great experience and skills.
Other than basic work-related skills, try to hire people who are almost always available online and can reply to your queries. Some remote workers have regular jobs.
Such workers will be less effective for your team as they will not be available for communications due to their regular job.
Another reason is your work will be second priority to those workers. So, always look for fulltime, experienced, and skilled workers.
It is important that you know about different previous projects your employees have worked in order to use their experiences in your projects.
2. Make Communication Smooth
Communication is the single most important thing in successfully managing a virtual team.
There should not have any communication barrier in your team. Skype is one of the best communication mediums available these days.
Make sure all your team members are connected to you on Skype. Conduct group meetings on Skype in forms of group chats or video calls.
3. Define Work Processes Early On
A single task can be done differently by different people. So, you need to define early on how you want your employees to do a job.
Set a standard or benchmark and always motivate your employees to follow those standards.
4. Schedule Regular Meetings
If your team’s work involves formulating strategies, and constant change in policies and action plans, regular meetings should be a top priority.
Daily meetings should be most effective. In that case, you need to ensure workers are available for the meeting in a specific time every day.
You can have weekly meetings as well.
5. Make use of Spreadsheets, Google Drive And Dropbox
Make sure all the necessary team resources are available to each and every member of the team.
If a single database requires updating by multiple individuals, use of spreadsheets is one of the best options.
Just create the database, and share it with other members of the team with authority to edit.
It will allow you to see how each work is being done by your team members.
Dropbox and Google Drive, on the other hand, ensure team members have access to other types of files and resources.
6. Use Premium Team Tools
There are many popular premium team tools such as BeeCanvas, Trello, and Asana to create a perfect work system within the team.
These are very affordable premium tools to manage a large team of virtual workers.
Providing instructions to your team members and getting things done by them using these team tools are most effective.
7. Set Reasonable Goals And Work As A Team To Achieve That
As a team leader, do not keep the goal of your virtual team to yourself only.
Make sure you communicate exactly what you are trying to achieve and motivate team members to achieve that goal.
If you can add extra incentive for achieving the monthly or yearly goal, that will be more effective for your online venture.
8. Build Long Lasting Relations with Team Members
When you start a virtual team, the productivity of the team may not be optimum.
You spend time interviewing and finding the right people, but once you have a decent size team to perform all the necessary jobs, your team should be more productive.
So, the strategy here is to keep assigning more works to the right candidates and build a long-term relationship.
Whenever you need an urgent job done, someone who already has worked for you will step up and complete the job in no time.
But a new member of your team might take time to understand your work processes and may have other priorities.
These are simple virtual team management tips you should keep in mind for online business success.