In this day and age, virtual teams have become a fact of life. Remote teams and work options have increased by more than 40% in the past five years alone, and companies that do make this transition have benefited. They are able to hire top talent, retain happy employees, lower costs, make better use of technology, and improve productivity.
So how do you lay the foundation to transition your team to virtual work? We have compiled 8 tips from our team to help you get started.
- Create a shared vision and a set of guiding practices for how the team will work. Schedule consistent virtual in-person meetings and onboardings like you would in an office setting. We use Zoom for our meetings, webinars, and conferences. Involving the team really sets you up for success in the long run.
- Have the right tools in place. Make sure to have all the tools the team will need in place beforehand. That way you will avoid team confusion later on. One tool we use consistently is Slack which provides real-time messaging for our team.
- Clarify Process. How will you onboard virtually? How will you manage your data and share it within the team? How will you manage projects? Having a clear process around work will be essential. One way to get started is to create a process map.
- Establish a set meeting time for the team. Set meeting times are just as important in a virtual setting, they create consistency, foster collaboration, and provide an opportunity to give feedback. Don't forget to have your Virtual Executive Assistant create a meeting agenda!
- Track and Measure Results. Develop KPIs and KRAs for the team and keep them accessible. Tracking them monthly is key to success. Give everyone an area to report on so they feel included.
- Keep communication open. Having an open space for open dialogue is important in a virtual setting. We use Slack for our internal communication and email for external.
- Maintain Culture. This is one of the steps companies are most worried about before transitioning to a virtual setting. As a virtual company, we have implemented on-going training, community support, CEO minutes (A 1-minute video series posted each week, and quick way for our team members to know what’s going on in the business and have a moment to connect with their CEO), raffles, sharing WOW moments and stories to inspire, and more. We also have annual retreats to continue to get to know one another and grow as a leadership team.
- Be consistent with 1:1s and coaching. In every team environment, you need 1:1 time with the people you collaborate with most, make sure to make this a priority every week.
Editor’s note: The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been a huge topic, with companies around the world being increasingly affected, Coronavirus is causing immediate and urgent increase in remote work. To keep staff safe and businesses running, companies are allowing and even mandating that employees work from home.
While some companies have remote work plans in place, many do not. Given the outbreak and the impact it is having across the world, it’s an important time to evaluate how you can transition your team to working virtually.
Working virtually can also help in case of other emergency situations and natural disasters. If you or a peer are in need of support or guidance, please feel free to set up a 30-minute call with our CEO or COO.