In this gig economy, people are just as likely to work remotely at hours convenient to them as they are to head downtown every morning for a 9-to-5 job. For as convenient as it can be, it also presents challenges such as collaboration among teams who may live and work thousands of miles apart. At ATSI Business Communication Systems, we help businesses establish and troubleshoot problems with cloud-based employees and independent contractors.
Virtual Teams Still Need Leadership
Whether your team started out working in an office and then began working from home or you hired independent contractors across the country from the start, the people within it still need leadership and direction to accomplish team goals. It is important for the team leader to set the tone and expectations from the beginning before people lose focus. The team leader should also plan to check in periodically and hold virtual meetings with remote workers at a time that works for everyone’s schedule.
Ensure That Remote Teams Have Efficient Technology
It is impossible for remote teams to work together collaboratively when the technology available to them does not allow it. As a team gets established and as new people are added, the supervisor needs to provide as well as test the technology to ensure that team members can easily communicate with each other via instant messaging, text or whatever the leader has decided is the most efficient.
A rule of thumb for introducing new tools to remote teams is that they be both efficient and effective. If they are not, remote workers may revert back to using older tools that are more familiar to them. A new tool should make life easier by reducing repetitive tasks or allowing people to collaborate more efficiently by having constant electronic access to work that other team members have produced.
Consider Soft Skills Equally Important as Technical Skills
Technical skills such as coding, computer programming or content creation are essential to ensure that the work produced meets the company’s standards. Part of the hiring process of remote workers should include a thorough screening process to make sure the person has the skills the position requires.
However, keep in mind that so-called soft skills — such as good communication skills, the ability to accept constructive criticism, and adaptability — are just as important. In fact, they could be even more important because people are working on their own yet are part of a team thanks to cloud-based technology. You can determine if a remote employee is right for the job (or even for certain individual tasks) by asking questions such as, “Do you have specific concerns about completing this project?” or “Do you feel comfortable working on a task with someone who has different ideas about how to accomplish it?”
Working in the cloud can save a company considerable money and time, and it can open up the pool of qualified candidates to a national or international level. If you have additional questions about cloud solutions please contact ATSI today, or visit our blog for more industry related news.