A recent blog from Stephanie Kanowitz and Fierce CEO highlights the, well highlights of working from home. And for good reason, too, as it remains a strong corporate trend even as giants like IBM make headlines by returning to a primarily office-oriented workforce:
Nationally, about 3.7 million employees—2.8% of the workforce—work from home a majority of the time […]. The number of workers who telecommute at least one day per month has gone from 9% in 1995 to 37% in 2015, a 300% jump […] and 80% to 90% of American workers want to work remotely at least part-time [..]
However, Kanowitz rightly notes that while working from home can be beneficial, there are limits to how well employees engage with their colleagues when working remotely… if virtual team managers let that happen. In fact, “managers can make or break remote programs.”
4 Tips for Creating Virtual Rock Stars
Kanowitz offers these four top tips for virtual team managers:
- Ensure collaboration on standards between employees and managers to ensure maximum collaboration – this can be an element of your Team Operating Agreement (TOA).
- Keep standards simple, breaking down goals to their most basic components to make them easy for virtual teammates to follow.
- Take one standard at a time and test the waters bit by bit in order to sufficiently explore each aspect of your new virtual model.
- Create standards based on actions that happen repeatedly. For example, if certain types of emails often distract you, set a standard that you don’t send them.
The Virtual Takeaway
Don’t let the way your virtual team operates detract from the massive benefits of working virtually in the first place – as a virtual team manager or lead, you can drive the success of your team simply by learning some virtual-specific strategies. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone! Pair up with a virtual mentor from Virtual Team Builders to set up your virtual management game and bring the best out of your team.
~ Claire Sookman, founder and president, Virtual Team Builders