Virtual Office Featured Article

Managing the Virtual Office Employee

July 10, 2019

Today’s workplace has changed dynamically. Over the last decade, trust in Internet capabilities is growing and transforming how people get their work done. It’s even led to an increase in the number of employers who allow their staff to connect to the company's network remotely from home, on the road, or wherever needed to get work done.

There are so many benefits to virtual offices. From improved productivity and morale to better collaboration with the right tools and reduced emissions from less cars on the roadways - the list goes on. 

As this shift occurs, however, businesses are finding they must also adjust their management style to meet the needs of a growing workforce that isn’t always face-to-face. To do so, they must pay close attention to processes and monitor results while being careful to not be too invasive.

Here are some tips for managing teams that use virtual offices.

Tip # 1 - Instill the Importance of Time Sheets & Trackers

If you have a team you can trust and that is accomplishing tangible tasks it’s easier to see how much work they’ve gotten done in a day. Sometimes it’s not so cut and dry so helping these workers to understand the importance of accurately and consistently submitting their time sheets and using trackers not just to ensure they’re working enough, but also that they’re not working too much can be beneficial. With so much time flexibility there’s also the possibility of burnout. Good time management tracking can keep everyone productive and satisfied.

Tip # 2 - Do Not Micro-Manage

No one likes to be micromanaged to the point where they can’t complete their tasks. Not in the office setting, or outside of it. It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to check-in and follow up with employees when you can't physically walk by them in the office. This will only lead to issues that discourage a team-based environment and harm productivity. Instead, learn to trust that you have a staff who is committed to the job and working toward goals and use alternate methods to work with those who don’t.

Tips # 3 - Maintain Uptime for all Technology

Nowhere is it more important for technology to be fully functioning than in a virtual office where everyone is relying on networks to  access files and get work done. Management should ensure consistent uptime of all networks, keep software up to date and ensure there is never a situation where employees cannot get their work done, or worse, get frustrated by slow connection speeds, poor tools, and lose motivation to work altogether.

Have you reviewed your team management tactics lately?

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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