Organizations have different ways of doing business. Some co-exist in four-walled rooms or establishments. However, with the advent of internet and digitalization, some organizations have taken their teams to another level – going beyond distance and time. They have developed virtual teams to more or less take care of organizational objectives.
What is a virtual team? Virtual teams are groups of people who go beyond time and distance; they are geographically dispersed, so communication and precise execution of plans have to be on top of the priority list. You may have heard of virtual assistants or outsourcing. If you have, you have more or less an idea what virtual teams are about.
How do you find the right virtual team for your organization? If you are considering the idea of building virtual teams to aid you in business, business coach David Guest suggests you discover how to find the right virtual team before you begin. The right virtual team can be your partner in the achievement of company goals and objectives when you get it right.
- Ask help from a trusted outsource company. There are companies who keep track of the records of freelance workers who could help you. Rather than hunting down a good worker and take months before you do find one, get help from outsourcing companies who have had freelance work done for them. They could refer you to some very good workers.
- Search oDesk.com. oDesk is able to provide you with excellent freelance workers; someone who could be an instrumental part of your team. oDesk have strict rules regarding work ethic and qualifications, so you it’s a protected place within which you can find viable candidates for your virtual team.
- Get referrals. You may have had colleagues who tried outsourcing before; ask for references or ask them how they did it. In fact, your business coach is a great source of references for this sort of thing, being that they are connected to lots of other business owners who may have already set up their own virtual team. David Guest, a business coach in Melbourne runs a Profits Mastermind group where people can share their business experiences.
- Set the Qualifications. Your business coach will tell you, you should at least set minimum qualifications and expectations when looking for virtual team members. Make sure that they can deliver. Otherwise, you could be in for big trouble in the long run.
- Communicate your Team Goals and Team Vision. It would be helpful if you could lay out your team goals and objectives so anybody who wants in is prepared for what lies ahead. You would like to be certain that the people you hire will be committed to your team, especially with the physical difficulty that you are to undertake.
- Clearly state the roles and responsibilities. Since you will be working in different time zones and places, you must be able to give clear instructions and roles to your team. If you miss out on this, you might experience a serious delay in your work results in the future. If you’re already having difficulty in this area then consider getting a business coach who can help you with your existing team before you get a virtual team.
- Build a healthy working environment. Do regular teleconferencing. Thankfully, Skype can help you on this one. Set aside time so you and your team can each raise concerns involving their progress and tasks. Just like with your regular team you want to be encouraging people to communicate their difficulties so that problems are dealt with quickly.
- Establish your communication lines. Be clear how you will communicate, and what the schedule is. Also, establish a culture of open communication. Virtual teams can be a little hard to handle given that you are not all working in a single office, so be clear with your guidelines and communication procedures. Some find it helpful to use checklists and evaluate things from that point.
- Establish a healthy working culture. With distance involved you are off to a complicated start, so it is up to you to change or revolutionize your organization to accommodate a different work ethic and culture. Remember public holidays aren’t the same everywhere around the world and the use of surnames and titles is still an important part of respect in some workplaces.
- Provide your team with the proper tools. Virtual teams are composed of people and 10% technology. If you want to make your virtual team work effectively, make it a point that you provide them with good tools and technology, those that they really need to effectively do their tasks.
When you are confident that you can do all these, your virtual dream team that’s effective & efficient will be humming along in no time.