Managing the Virtual Workplace

8 Tips to Build a Successful Team Which Works From Home

Can you develop and manage a virtual workplace?

Virtual workers and virtual teams are an essential part of today’s workforce.

More than ever, people are using technology to work anywhere, anytime.

There are big benefits to today’s virtual workplace, but there can be big challenges, too

If your organization has decided to incorporate mobile elements into the workforce, it’s important to develop clear guidelines and expectations.

This organizational strategy can then be customized for each department and/or team.

I define these mobile workers as employees who work outside of the office and stay connected via technology. (Think of salespeople who spend a lot of time on the road, computer programmers who work from home, and supervisors who move from plant to plant.)

These mobile workers work in a virtual workplace, which can be defined as a company that uses technology to conduct business in a variety of locations. The terms telework and telecommuting are used to describe employees who work in an offsite location, usually from home.

Sometimes, traditional and/or mobile workers are brought together to form virtual teams: an interdependent group that works together towards a common goal but is not in the same physical location.

However, without good leadership, mobile workers can feel isolated and disengaged and become less productive.

Distractions and time management can be a challenge for some people, too.

If virtual workplace programs are not implemented and managed properly, they can be very costly for businesses.

For example, in 2013, a United States company discovered that one of its telecommuting software developers had outsourced his job to a development firm in China.

Although the developer had excellent performance reviews and was considered the best in the company, a digital forensic analysis revealed that his work had been done by this outsourced firm for several years.

This created a huge security risk for the company and raised questions about their management policies.

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Below are some tips on how to build a successful and engaged virtual workplace:

1- Be a good communicator

2- Set goals & expectations

3- Create ownership and accountability

4- Be results-focused

5- Show people that you care

6- Help people do what they love

7- Be consistent in your online attitude

8- Build people up