Virtually Inseparable – Teamwork Even When Working Alone

Do you love working from your home office and being in charge of your professional life? If so, how can you possibly create teamwork and camaraderie when there is so much distance?

Answer:

There are many ways to engage in teamwork while everyone is working from remote locations. By setting up a virtual team of your colleagues who can complement each other, you ensure that there is constant communication and the passing of advice from one employee to another.

Sometimes one person cannot complete all the tasks related to a project. Occasionally, they are unable to find the time. In other cases, a second employee might have a better understanding of how to handle that task. By ensuring camaraderie while working from home or other remote locations, teams can still get projects complete in an efficient and comprehensive manner.

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Virtual team members can connect through one of the many available video chat services, such as Google+ Hangouts or Skype.

Putting together the team is often the hardest part. If you are starting your own business, your team should include individuals who have complimenting skills, which allows you to complete a wider range of tasks and projects.

For example, every team needs an administrative, bookkeeping, design, sales and marketing components. When you hire one or two virtual workers, it becomes easier to hire more through referrals and online freelance websites.

The best way to start any virtual work relationship is by engaging in conversation with the workers in a one-to-one situation. Through chatting, phone calls or video calls, you can discuss the other person’s professional accomplishments, work style, work hours, job preferences and more.

Also ensure that your virtual worker has the tools at their location to complete the tasks you plan on assigning them. For example, a photographer without the proper camera equipment is not very useful to you!

It is also important to ensure that you have a positive relationship with the virtual workers on a personal level. While their skills are very important, it is hard to share work with someone who you cannot stand on a personal level.

In order to properly manage this virtual team:

– Communicate expectations in a clear manner. If there are deadlines or certain requirements for a job, state them very clearly. The other party cannot read your mind, especially when they are not in the same office building!

– Nurture. Ideas must flow from one member of the team to another – all the way back to you. If your virtual employees are not comfortable sharing their thoughts related to their assigned projects, it is very difficult to get a great output from them. This open flow of ideas also ensures that team members can lay out any problems they may have with an assignment when it is assigned, instead of turning in work that is of poor quality or not completed in the right way.

– Regular interactions are also important. While regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings are a good idea, you can also send messages to your team members in order to check in on their progress. Similarly, encourage them to contact you if they have any questions or concerns about their assignments.

– Do not worry about the possibility of a breakdown in communication between team members. Sometimes people will not get along, or they might not trust each other yet. It is up to you, the team leader, to create a more positive environment for the different team members to open up with each other.

 

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