Virtual Offices are not bad, and it does give you a better chance to make a stand before you own your own office space. And do not worry since as per some research made recently, it was found that the virtual offices have become something regular for many startups.
Even though the name “virtual office” is something that implores imaginative images of tattoo-rich tech startups, it was reported in The New York Times during 2014 that there is a typical telecommuter who is of the age 49 and is a college graduate. This person earns about $58,000 within a year and is a part of a company that has about 100 employees, as per the US Census Bureau numbers.
Yes, you would miss the fact where you see a lot of friendly faces around you as you share memes, jokes, and the ‘90s movie references. But working as a remote team would help you work together without being with each other. It would help you build your skills in a better way. Still, there are some things that have to be kept in mind to make the environment work out for you perfectly and in the right way.
Here are five tricks on how to work together with a remote team, and build efficiency, creativity, and chemistry in a virtual office.
Easily Searchable Chat Program For The Team Is Imperative
It is obvious that you need a good communication system just for your team members to always be able to stay connected and Slack is a good one. It has an enormous measure of power in the capacity to search archived conversations, set-up the daily stand-up meetings and reminders, and open and even efficiently manage new channels via the intuitive and powerful “slash” commands.
Also, for maintaining the good vibes and morale, the daily laughter and chatter form a big part. Slack also helps in this case where there are many especially-lovable and customizable set of emoji, smooth YouTube embedding, and integrated GIFs.
Moreover, Slack is not the only option. There are many other options out there like Telegram, and Skype as well. They too work well as chat programs for remote teams trying to get businesses together. All you need to do is select the one that is both powerful in terms of fun and features for the team to use and enjoy.
A Project Management Software, Video Conferencing, And An Online Document Sharing App For The Team To Function Well.
There is a project management software that has been trending for a while now. And why wouldn’t it? It is a powerful tool that can help every virtual office to have their team, work together just as if they were working in the same office space. The application has the name Asana.
Thanks to its efficient communication system, and the easy-to-manage task creation, each person in your team would have a proper idea of what is on their plate for the day, week or even month all together. It helps each member keep an eye on what is coming down the line and how they would be able to manage the tasks to meet deadlines and eventually schedule their day accordingly.
The free-form and simple interface of Asana makes it a versatile tool. Though, the team members would need to give it a trial error test to understand it better and get a flow of it. Imagine, you want a method for re-structuring the tasks whose parts are transferred to different teams. Well, this is something Asana is excellent at, you can easily build highly-organized subtasks. Moreover, you can easily drag and drop these between the tasks that are larger.
When it comes to sharing documents, you can use the Office 365. Though there are some server down situations here, it is a great start for many businesses. But again, just a reminder that the cloud-based systems are still in their infancy stage, so it is advised to keep the offline backup with you always.
Video conferencing would be something that takes place more in a virtual office since the team would need to get together for the important meetings once in a while, and you cannot handle the technical audio and video calling issues. This is where Skype comes in handy. Other than this appear.in is also a great one for large (6 people and above) group meetings.
Flexible Shedules Work Wonderfully Better
It is easy for the team to set up their schedules as per their convenience, which makes it efficient for those who have families, keep up with freelance work or just lead simple lives as well. Instead of synchronizing the timings of everyone, the scheduling of the team as per their convenience makes the members more versatile and responsive towards the clients as well.
For instance, a content team can have two people who work in the morning and two who work during the evening and night time. With this, the content specialist would be available both for urgent morning tasks and even last minute request from clients.
Moreover, this also means that the client from a different coast would be able to obtain our services.
Be Ready To Reevaluate Your Practices And Tools Regularly
Change is the only constant. And the reason why it is this way is since new things come, and old things become old. Evolution takes place and so does it affect our work and productivity. Hence, it is vital for every virtual office and even otherwise to try out a new organizational experiment, virtual office policy, or productivity tool.
Yes, not all of them do great and remain for a long time. But with this, you find out the best way to increase the productivity of your business and work as a team in a much better way.
The most prominent inherent snare of a virtual office is that the teammates are very dependent on the established workflows, task management tools, and communication tools. When a person is not sure about what happens next for a project, they can’t just go to the adjacent cubicle and work it out.
Instead, the person would have to either email or message someone from the team. And if the other person takes some time to see the message, after which they give a follow-up to talk to someone else who again is not on their desk, the work isn’t completed on time. Also, due to this, you would not be able to start anything else as well, leaving all the tasks pending.
And due to this reason, the employees and managers of a virtual office always have to ruthlessly and restlessly keep looking for other practices and tools. Since each minute that gets lost to uncertainty or inefficiency tends to blow up when working with a remote team.
Do Not Forget To Have A Meetup When You Can
In case your remote team operates within the same city, remember that an after-work beer together, a team co-working day at someone’s house, or a group lunch is great to show the team members that they are working with real humans who actually care.
Working every day in the virtual office can make the members feel lonely and bored. It is sometimes vital to have a meetup and make some real human contact to hear the talks and laughter of someone near you as you work.
And obviously, these tips just are the starting tips to make things work. But it takes more to have the remote team to work better together. And these tips would not stop the long-term practices or to try out new things still it is just a hint on how to go with it.