Do you know what a virtual team is?
Do you know want to know how you could engage a virtual team and what the key factors are when putting your team together, read on as I take you on a short journey through the beginnings of setting up a virtual team..
How times have changed! Years ago we all worked together in an office, all had computers, faxes and large chunky phones. In the last 20 years technology has advanced incredibly and many of our roles have noticeably become digitalized…Fast forward too today..
The requirement for a more flexible approach to work situations is apparent. It is now common to find that businesses allow both men and women to work from home or in reduced hours to provide options for families, if required.
This has been one of the clearly defining trends which has allowed management to review the way their staff and teams work together. No longer do we need to sit in the same room as our co-workers to be productive and to achieve our KPI’s. There are many new technologies such as: Skype, Conference Calls, Cloud Computing, Shared Drives, Online Faxes, VOIP Phone Systems and of course mobile phones, ipads and laptops, that just make it so much easier to work in a variety of work scenarios.
If you are doing some long term advanced strategic planning for your business for the next 3 years, I would suggest you seriously consider the option of using a virtual team.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, if you plan ahead you can work towards having these processes in place to engage a virtual (outsourced) team.
- Clarify your business vision, document it, and use it as a basis for all documentation and conversations going forward.
- Document job descriptions/roles within the business – this will help you define which roles can be outsourced, the type of work they can do and the systems you need to put in place to make it work.
- Document an Operations/Procedures Manual. This may seem like a long tedious task but boy is it important. By reviewing each process you begin to understand the complexity of each part of the business more clearly. This review usually means you find many many more tasks that could be outsourced as well…
Once you have completed the 3 steps above you then will have a good indicator of the tasks that can be outsourced and you can begin the search for the right type of virtual team.
A virtual team could be used for any role from a IT Consultant, Accountant, Programmer, Consultant, Receptionist, Administration Support Services, Personal Assistants, Sales People, Web Designer, Printer and the list can go on and on…
Really any role in your business could be engaged if you have articulated your business vision and written your processes clearly.
The key factors your virtual team should provide you with are:
- Expertise in their area/role
- Flexibility to work within your guidelines
- An alignment on your key vision for success
- Complementary values in regard to outlook, people skills and customer service
- Knowledge of your expectations
- Honesty and Integrity
- Passion and dedication to their roles and responsibilities and most importantly clear and concise communication.
Virtual teams can assist a business in so many ways, whether they are a small start-up to a multinational business as it brings the opportunity of exponential business growth. It has the ability to give you less overheads, less day to day management of staff, less purchasing of equipment, less leave requirements and gives you back more time, productivity and financial gain.
I love working in a virtual team. Every day is different, every client values your work, knowledge and expertise and I wouldn’t change the way I work for peanuts!