Virtual team building is becoming more of a necessity for both startup entrepreneurs and SME’s. The paradox associated with the modern world is that as we become more physically disconnected, technology continues to afford us the opportunity of limitless connection within the digital realm.
Many startup entrepreneurs and SME’s are beginning to realise this as majority of business operations begin to translate into the digital world.
Hiring a virtual team can significantly cut your expenses, maintenance, and more. However. when it comes to building the perfect team, entrepreneurs face a number of challenges resulting from a lack of physical connection.
Here are Outsourcery’s top tips for building your perfect virtual team.
The Dream Team
If you are planning on building a virtual team you should be an individual who loves technology and is able to celebrate its constant change. The individuals you intend on recruiting should too be lovers of technology.
Learning starts from day one. If these individuals aren’t people who not only depend but thrive off on technology for security, communication, project management, and all the wonders it provides, then you need to initiate training from the beginning or reassess potential candidates.
Meeting physically is ideal, however if your team comprises of individuals in various locations a face-to-face meeting is perfect. Digital applications such as Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime allow for effective conferencing calling that is perfect for your first team meeting.
Roles, Responsibilities, and Training
Majority of virtual teams are physically disconnected, thus clarifying tasks and processes early on is important. Physical disconnection makes coordination of tasks challenging, thus it’s important to outline the details of what a task entails and the processes that are necessary to complete them.
Being in a co-located team means that it is essential to make the tasks as simple as possible, with sub-teams of no more than two members per task. Outline the specifics of each task and what it requires each member to do. Initiate a review process to evaluate how well processes are working and this will allow you to evaluate whether your team members need further training.
Furthermore, accountability for work progress and completion are important for maintaining productivity. Time tacking tools such as Harvest, Paydirt, Dashable and Time Doctor allow your employees to effectively track how long tasks take, as well as specific information about each client.
When your team consists of members who work remotely, effective communication can be a major challenge.
However, technology has afforded us the opportunity to make sure that effective communication can be established down to the correct platform. There are applications that allow you to segment the various forms of communication such as informal chats, group discussions, information exchange, detailed discussions, and difficult conversations.
You need to choose the communication tools that are the best fit for your team and your corresponding business operations.
Applications such as Whatsapp or Google Hangouts are great for informal talks and group discussions. When it comes to information exchange or announcements using Slack, Asana or any other project management tools such as Basecamp are highly effective. For long and detailed discussions, apps such as Skype or Zoom, will enhance productivity.
It all depends on how you segment your communication that determines how effective it is. You don’t want to have your team socialising on a forum meant for detailed discussions about tasks, just as much as you don’t want them discussing formal tasks on a chatroom designated for social team building.
Once you have segmented and chosen your various modes of communication, tone of voice and professionalism will follow suite.
Transparent like polished glass
The barriers to communication produced by working remotely makes it a necessity for teams to be as direct and clear about the tasks, goals, and processes required to complete them.
Transparency is king when it comes to virtual communication. The more your team knows about the various processes, decisions, projects, clients, and everything business related the more you will be able to empower them independently.
Effective transparency can be established by producing, outlining and reinforcing all necessary processes from the beginning. Brand guidelines and client communication protocols should be presented in the early stages of training. It is important that regular meetings or check-ins are established to monitor whether all processes are working effectively.
Digital applications such as Google Docs, Dropbox, or Microsoft Office allow virtual teams to effectively share files. Effective file sharing allows for complete transparency which in turn enhances virtual productivity.
The Virtual Rhythm
Having a team work remotely increases the likelihood of disconnection even though you might have effective communication tools set in place.
Working virtually is all about the rhythm. Setting regular meetings with agreed upon times and days each week allows you to establish this. Sharing meeting agendas, and setting modes of communication for these meetings will help increase productivity, as well as efficiency within your team.
Furthermore, as a virtual team flexibility is important. You may have members in different time zones, thus having a rotation schedule as to not put pressure on members is necessary for establishing the work-life balance favoured by majority of startups and SME’s.
Creating a virtual rhythm comes down to acknowledging the fine line between work and life. You want your employees to be happy, because happy employees are productive and efficient.
Outsourcery and Virtual Team Building
Outsourcery’s business model is based on the effective utilisation of digital communication. Startup and SME entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges regarding recruitment of their team. Challenges such as business admin, personal tasks and work tasks can be outsourced to a virtual PA.
It’s difficult to maintain and instill a sense of productivity when it comes to building your team virtually, while still having a work-life balance.
We provide a 5 hour free trial where we can show you exactly how we can empower you as an entrepreneur, while liberating you so that you still have time for your personal life.
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