How to Make Virtual Employees Productive?
Remote work or working virtually is on the rise, especially considering the recent scenario. Even though managing remote employees can be stressful enough to want one tear of their hair, it is one of the greatest competitive strength. It is a lot easier to hire talented professionals without considering the location also.
But hiring remote employees has its disadvantages like one may be clueless about what their team members are doing or whether the employees are going to flake-out or they will work efficiently for a while before their quality of work deteriorates and they quit. And, at times it may be very frustrating not being able to communicate when there is urgency or update to make.
Figuring out how to increase the productivity of a virtual team can take years, and at the price of your business. Follow the simple tips to increases the working efficiency level of your virtual team along with progressing with the growth of your company.
Keeping track of the working hours along with basic measures of productivity and attendance
If you are paying your remote working employees by their working hours, it makes sense to keep a track on their hours worked. Even if you are not keeping a track of the attendance of the employees in an office, you have an estimate about their working hours and who is coming in every day. But, in case of a virtual working environment, it may be difficult to know when your employees are working, what they are precisely working on and how long.
There may be some efficient employees who are on time, work throughout and avoid all distractions of their surroundings. But, this is not the case for most of the people working virtually. And above all, they need to avoid distractions such as Facebook and YouTube. It is crucial to implement the use of software which allows you to keep a track on the working hours of your employees, and what they are working on currently.
Implementation of systems
Any business is likely to fall apart without systems. In an office, a business can counteract and neutralize the lack of systems partially by managing things as the employees can verbally speak to each other, face to face. But in a virtual working environment, every employee is in their world. It can become challenging if every individual employee has their separate working procedures and patterns that do not glide with each other. It is essential to have a standardized working system that one is constantly refining.
Allowing a degree of flexibility without neglecting to keep a consistency
The idea is to draw a balance. Naturally, people who work from home will want their flexible working hours. But on the other hand, things can go haywire, making it challenging to collaborate as a team when all the members of the team are online, at the same time.
Keeping a track on the working output
Irrespective of the fact, your team is a virtual one or not, it is essential to measure their productivity levels for the growth of the company. Understand the key factors that determine the success of each job role. Being transparent about the key indicators of the success of the job will allow one to quickly analyze whether every single employee of the virtual team is being productive or not. For a streamlined communication and analytics of the remote sales team use an effective and efficient tool to successfully track the level of productivity of your team.
Organizing a system which overlaps times, especially for communication in different time zones
Most of the times, communication between teams fail because of the different time zones. Hence, it is pertinent that the working hours overlap different time zones when you have employees in your virtual work environment from different time zones. Without overlapping working hours, where every member is online together, it may be extremely challenging to hold virtual meetings to discuss the goals and workings of the company. For a company to be efficiently working the teams must be in constant collaboration with each other for smoothly running the operations. Hence it is crucial to hire employees within the same time zone or a maximum of three hours apart, especially within the same team.
Quarterly reviewing the work of the virtual employees to keep a check and see how they are coping
People may feel lonely and isolated at times, and this is one of the major issues of working from home. Even though most people love the freedom they get from working from home, it may not be the case for some. Hence it is crucial to check from time to time whether every employee is working efficiently or not.
Choosing the right communication style
One of the major reasons by virtual teams fail is every employee is in their world and forget about the other members of the team. Communication is the key to the success of a virtual team. And, depending on the needs of the employees and demands of the company choose the right communicating tool.
Emails, project management tools, chat programs, virtual phone systems, creating a short video and video chat are some of the effective communicating tools that you can choose from or use more than one for better communication with and amongst your team members.
Using screen sharing tools
Today, there are tools which allow the team members to share their screens so that it is transparent on what each is working on, without any second guess or making an assumption. Depending on the features of the tools, some of them can control the other person’s window even remotely.
Using Managing a virtual team is indeed a challenging task and with experience one masters the art of managing the virtual team while increasing their productivity. However, it is pertinent to make all the meetings are remote-friendly. And this means that everyone should be using the same technology to chat through the computer, as the employees are in their virtual working environment and not in the same room. Also, ensure that your strategies work for a remote team as the strategies for an actual office is not the same for a virtual team.