Having a virtual team is becoming a leading trend in most emerging businesses. A virtual team usually consists of colleagues working from different locations working together as one company or team and towards the same goal. How to manage your virtual team becomes a very important aspect if you to choose to insource.
Insourcing is usually a great option for companies that are growing. It allows for the incorporation of some of the best professional minds from anywhere on the globe at the lowest possible investment.
Virtual teams have a wide range of advantages. Employees get to balance their work and social life more, it gives workers the chance to interact with colleagues around the world. Companies get to cut costs on global talent and they reduce expenditures such as rent and physical furniture.
Choosing the right insourcing partner can save you a lot of time when it comes to getting a virtual team to add value to your organization. There are several issues that come into play when trying to get virtual teams to function well. Key among them being;
- Lack of clarity and direction
- Poor communication
- Difficulty with delegation
How to effectively manage your virtual teams
Plan and structure your work
When working with a virtual team you are working with professionals who know the importance of time. Define a working system that will be followed by everyone. This will help team members know the work process, how long a task should take. This also eliminates questions and confusion.
Having proper structure standardizes your work, procedures, and outlines how every employee should conduct themselves.
Communicate on many platforms
Virtual teams differ from any other traditional workplace model. Effective communication makes it possible to get the best out of your team. You will need to invest in top communication tools. Software like Zoom allows for effective communication between you and your whole team. Platforms like Zoho, Slack, and Basecamp allow you to keep track of the work and efficiency of the team.
File sharing is key
Sending large files over email all the time can create quite a virtual cluster. As the mail piles, there is a risk of some being emitted and your inbox working much slower than it should.
However, you can send large files through channels like Dropbox. Dropbox also has a downloadable app, so you can even access your documents from any device, this also allows you to work on the road and access many files.
Set clear deliverables
Though you will be getting some of the sharpest minds in the world as part of your virtual team, you need to have set targets for them to achieve in an acceptable timeframe. This keeps the team focused and a clear workflow can be established. Boundaries are determined on working hours per day, application of leave days or any requests for time off work.
It is also a good idea to have a rewards-based system. When a team member produces exceptional results they are acknowledged with a small token of appreciation.
Schedule regular meetings
There is a need to arrange frequent meetings. These need to be both individual and group-based. The frequency will be determined by your workload and schedule. It is advisable to check in your team as a whole at least once a week.
SupportChiro is based in Texas U.S.A but it has its insourcing offices in Harare Zimbabwe which happens to be 7 hours ahead. However, meetings are possible as virtual team members work according to your schedule. When you effectively manage your virtual team, you will enjoy more free time to focus on other things while your company grows.
Activities like brainstorming sessions, discussions on challenges in the working environment and generally improving “team spirit” helps get more from your virtual team members.
In today’s business environment the workplace is no longer limited to one stationary place. There is a need to have expertise from far and wide. To keep them motivated and efficient one needs to keep them engaged and motivated.
SupportChiro is a leading Texas-based insourcing company that provides virtual assistants and administrative support for businesses. Moreover, we provide both short and long term virtual insourcing services customized to suit your business process needs. Follow us on Facebook or Linkedin to receive more tips on how to manage your virtual team.