Imagine having a business where you can contract staff with the perfect skills and experience that you require, regardless of where in the world they may be.
Virtual companies take advantage of the growing number of sophisticated online collaboration tools available in the marketplace. This allows them to contract whomever they want, and avoid the expenses associated with physical workspaces. Be aware, the management of one of these virtual workplaces is a little different than that of a traditional workplace — for employers and their employees.
Like with any business, it’s important to manage expectations and have clear boundaries. This is even more important with a virtual business so make sure that you have clear, measurable goals in place and that your processes and vision are communicated effectively. Your team always needs to feel supported.
Here are some useful tips for this change:
Some clients, and potential clients, may find it unsettling that they don’t know what their team is doing all the time, and the urge to micromanage from afar may suddenly kick in. Instead of emailing or calling your team for constant updates, let them get their work done while you put your focus to a longer term solution. In part, this is a very strong reason for a virtual assistant to terminate a client contract. We’re paid to get in there and get the job done. Interruptions and continual reporting only adds to the client’s billable hours. However, a seasoned VA will also know how to document their work so that the remote team and the client can point and click to get a status update. Project management tools like Asana are designed specifically for this.
Work on creating and implementing processes throughout your business. Not only will this help you to grasp exactly what your team do every day, but it will also help you to evaluate where your staff’s time is going.
Any business will experience changes in productivity. With a virtual workplace, it’s important to closely manage and measure them. Here are some tips for keeping control of your productivity:
Making the choice to have a virtual office can certainly reduce the overhead for your company, but there will most likely be an increased need for leadership. The change can be incredibly good for your business, but be prepared to give lots of direction to your team and be there to guide them when they need it. There is still a need for growth and sometimes this can be more demanding in a virtual environment than a physical one.
If you set yourself up with good processes and the right management team, a virtual work place can be a game-changer.