5 Tips for Managing a Virtual Team

It’s one thing to have a solo Virtual Assistant helping you out with your business, it’s a big help and a major time-saver. And if you have decided to upgrade your remote work process by hiring an entire Virtual Team, then congratulations on making a great choice. However, there are several things you need to consider in order to really make the most of your enhanced workforce. A Virtual Team is more than each VA added up, because when they’re operating in synergy, they become more than the sum of their parts. Here’s what you need to know in order to maximize your squad’s capabilities. 

Utilizing Virtual Tools

The proper tools will truly bring out the best in your virtual staff. Especially now that you have more people working, they’ll need systems conducive to synergy – more than just emailing them their daily tasks and having them respond “done” when they’ve finished. And with that many people, without the proper organizational tools things may get cluttered. Thankfully, with the gift of The Cloud, you can stay on top of things with a systematized tracker. Slack, Atlassian’s Confluence, even shared spreadsheets on Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. With these, your Virtual Team can also work on the same task simultaneously if need be, and have a shared repository of files that’s easily accessible and safe from accidental corruption or loss.

Here in Virtual BizNest, our Virtual Team is thoroughly acquainted with the necessary virtual tools and we’ve introduced these to our clients to streamline their processes with great effect. This saves our clients from the pains of orienting each team member on how to use a new app or program – they can rest easy as the workflow is transformed and proceeds smoother than ever.

Setting Routines

With a Virtual Team, you will be touching base with specialists who may very well be from the other side of the world and operating in multiple different time zones. So it helps to have consistently scheduled briefings and meetings, agree on the times they’re expected to work and when they’ll submit their deliverables. This goes doubly so if you have on-site staff who are expected to work with the Virtual Team as well.

On the client’s end, ultimately your team will be waiting on your word and unlike employees who are physically right there in the office with a remote team sometimes one can get distracted and miss their reminders and queries. So the routine is as much for you as it is for them. With this, you won’t have to keep on checking up on them – and they won’t have to keep on following up on your input.

With our Virtual Teams, most of them will be working together in the VBN office so they already have an established routine and are accustomed to working together, coordinating to maximize productivity. Moreover, they have the advantage of lending a hand to their peers in the event of delays or personal emergencies.

Optimizing the Process

Now you’re getting used to your Virtual Team and the work process. You have evaluated it to see what’s great and what needs some work.

Now, how can you tweak it to make it even better? Do you think you should switch to another cloud service provider?

What schedule better suits you or your virtual employees? What are the gaps in the process that can be fixed?

These improvements can come from both ends, based on your ideas and observations, or from the Virtual Team’s own suggestions. Your pre-existing process may use some tweaking, and the team could help with that. Or their process may need a few adjustments to fit your business process. Either way, this is when business starts picking up!

Leveraging Your Virtual Employees’ Experiences

In light of all of this, the ins and outs of running a Virtual Team may take some adjusting. But the overall benefit is well worth it. So it pays to have an open mind whether you are a new startup owner, just getting used to working with Virtual Assistants, or accustomed to more old-fashioned workplace setups. There’s a great chance that this isn’t your Virtual Team’s first rodeo, they have a wellspring of experience in their fields. Odds are they might have helped other clients with challenges and responsibilities quite similar to the ones you are facing. So take advantage of this!

Why reinvent the wheel when you can use their knowhow and make everything so much easier? Hear them out, they might have great solutions that can streamline your work process and optimize it. After all, that’s what you’re paying them for: to help you make your business grow and prosper.

Developing a Workplace Culture

To maximize your Virtual Team, you have to see them as truly part of your business and brand. Not merely just people you’ve outsourced roles. They have to be steeped in the your company’s culture, and in turn that culture has to embrace the virtual work process. This integration will bring with it a deeper understanding of how your company functions. This makes everyone better at their jobs, whether they’re representing your brand or delivering its products or services.

Want to get a better understanding of how working remotely works? Try it out yourself. If possible, make this an option for your on-site staff. Imagine the improvements in your employees’ performance if they were spared from tiresome commutes.

Positive workplace culture is exemplified by recognizing achievements. Has your Virtual Team brought big gains to your company? Then it should be commended and rewarded. Sure, a pizza party with employees who are abroad might not be possible. Still, there’s real fulfillment in being acknowledged for a job well done!

-John Li

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