In the last little while, many businesses have changed how they do business drastically and moved to virtual teams. Working with a virtual team is very different than being able to physically see them each day.
When I began my business in 2006 I faced a lot of challenges with working virtually and overcame those challenges! Technology has definitely made it easier and easier and today I would like to share some of my experiences with virtual teams.
Below are some of the top objections I answer with many of my virtual clients. You may be struggling with these challenges and objections yourself as you begin working virtually with your team:
#1 – How do I trust my team is working when they say they are working?
Yes, trust is earned however when working virtually you MUST trust your team that much more. You can no longer see what they are doing each day and you must believe they are working when they say they are working. The answer to this question is to focus less on hours worked and more on outcomes achieved. For this reason, it is important to set very clear expectations and deadlines for achieving the outcome you need to be achieved. Let your team know in advance exactly what you need to be completed and by when you need it completed. Set goals for the week based on what you know they were able to achieve in usual circumstances and if it is a new task or relationship, base these goals on your usual achievements.
#2 – How do I help to establish structure to their day?
Many of your team members may be dealing with a new reality of working from home and juggling demands. They may not find structure easy (especially if they have children at home too). It is important to realize their structure may not look like your structure. They may need to work very “unusual” hours than those they are used to working. Allow them to work when it works best for them.
You may want to establish some rules and boundaries if they are important. For example, if you need an answer to an email right away you will send them a text message to let them know something needs their attention. Make sure whatever rules and boundaries you set everyone agrees to these and they are respected.
#3 – I miss the personal connection.
As human beings we all want physical connection to others, however you can still establish personal connection with your virtual teams. Utilize technology to host check-ins, especially face to face interactions using zoom, facetime or other video conferencing tools. Although I agree this is not the same as being in the same physical space it is amazing how you can maintain relationships through technology. Thanks to technology some of the my closest friends are people I have only ever seen virtually. This is a testament to the fact relationships can be built without the need to be in physical proximity.
If you have any other questions, objections or challenges about working with virtual teams, feel free to leave your questions or comments below.
To learn more about working virtually and how we can assist you, schedule your discovery call today!