There is a reason why virtual offices are growing in numbers and becoming popular. Companies no more require establishing big offices in large metropolitan; only a small office area with primary business operations can do. They can access talent for mundane jobs from anywhere in the world. And with the development of collaborative tools and technology, it is very convenient to work with a virtual or distributed team.
However, the distance doesn’t prove to be decisive for the success of the team every time. It can even cause a lack of coordination and proper communication resulting in poor work culture and lower productivity in the long run. But, these drawbacks are nothing in front of several benefits attached to remote team.
To ensure a good work culture and high-level productivity, you need to put down a few practices.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Regardless of how thoroughly you and your team follow professionalism, emails can be missed by anyone. Missing an important email can put a halt on a crucial project update, cause a delay in project delivery because the team member could not get clarification on the issue they were experiencing.
But, also it is essential to realize the work hours of your remote employees. Most people working at a remote location feel burdened of staying available during the entire day. The obligation to respond to work messages is not a good sign. It is significant to communicate regarding the work hours at the very first place.
“Frequent communication can be a challenge for newly established remote teams. But, the collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, Skype and many more incredibly helps the team members to interact and speak on important project updates or questions, wherever and whenever.”– Kuldeep Bhatnagar
(Assistant General Manager at Fusion Business Solutions)
Focus on Upskilling
A happy and productive team is the one that is always willing to take up new skills. You must motivate the remote staff to seek more knowledge and leverage for personal and professional growth. Because, when your team is equipped with new skills, it will work for the benefit of the organization as well. They can deliver exceptional work every time.
This also work very well in retaining your armed force. You can make them realize that you value them and want them to learn for their personal good. One way is to provide them free access to online courses at Coursera or Udemy. These online training platforms provide a range of courses that can help your team upskill after work hours or per their comfort.
Introduce your Culture
Do not forget, your virtual employees are a part of your organization and should feel it just like your in-house employees. Apart from the work, talk about your culture, seasonal changes, local communities, festival, and trends. It is one way your remote teams will feel warm and happy to work with you in the long run.
Moreover, when you introduce your culture you lay down a foundation of trust and unity with your remote team. It doesn’t take much of an effort but exchanging festival greetings can make a big difference to the commitment and quality of the work that is delivered.
Emphasize on “what”, rather than “when”
Is it important that your calendar is well-planned or that it gets completed only when you are available? Of course, time isn’t a significant factor if you get a productive advantage during your off-hours.
In other words, if your virtual team can work correctly during your night time and if it doesn’t have much to do with the frequent communication, allow them to bring the best in their comfortable time zone. Let your remote team stay happy and productive (not burdened with restrictions).
Though, remote teams are specialized in turning their schedule as per yours. And, they make sure the transition is smooth even if they work during the night time.
Let There Be Trust
Micromanaging every step of your remote team can turn as counterproductive for the organization. Broadly, if you keep worrying about the work your remote staff is doing, cycling your brains on the less important, you need to change your approach.
Set down clear expectations, long term objectives, and only then a mutual sense of trust is able to build. Once it is understood that what quality of work is expected, what things are due, and the foundation of trust is laid down there itself.
The Final Word
The successful virtual offices maintain a series of processes and technologies to collaborate and maintain good terms with the client company.
Virtual teams may come and go. But, by following a few tips, you can create a sustainable partnership that can align with your organizational goals and help them deliver what you want.
You only need to add a pinch of co-ordination and recognition!