Working remotely has fast become a way of life for many people and businesses.
However, when you have virtual employees you need to come up with new and creative ways to keep up the connection, it can be difficult, especially when people are working on different things, at different times, and possibly in different time zones.
There are numerous ways in which managers can do this…
- Texting: A quick effective message is a great way for a boss to keep in touch. This works especially well when you need to reach someone quickly regardless of where they are, however managers need to be respectful of their employee’s time.
- Email: As leaders we are on our email all day long. This isn’t the best tool for an immediate response, but it is helpful when it comes to keeping conversation information organized and accessible for future reference.
- Voice chat: Talking over the internet is readily available and an option for a real time conversation with using a phone and doesn’t require visual interaction.
- Video chat: This can provide face to face interaction regardless of geography and this could be a great way to provide personal feedback.
- Phone: This is an oldie but a goodie…not the newest form of communication but a very effective one. Be mindful of your employee’s time.
- IM: Instant messaging is a text chat can be useful for real time results that aren’t’ urgent and where visual signs won’t be missed. This is considered a more informal method of communicating within the team and office.
- Video: Some managers might like to create videos and upload them on sites such as YouTube. It is a great way to train or teach certain practices and procedures and they can always be available for reference.
- Screen sharing: It is very important for supervisors to have a platform to show their workers certain tasks, or information. Instead of sending extensive instructions or slideshows through email, you can just set up a meeting time and when you screen share, and walk your employee through the instructions.
- Virtual software: There are virtual office software options that will provide managers and team members with a virtual office building and the ability to connect virtual teams, helping them to communicate and work as a team.
- Document sharing: With document sharing services, there can be real time joint work being completed in a virtual setting. Your team can work on reports, worksheets and presentations and will allow them to reach their goals.
- Social media: There are special site such as Yammer that can provide your personnel a centralized place to divvy up, join forces and converse about any projects in the works.
There are so many options as to how managers and teams can stay in contact and it only get easier as technology progresses.
It is important to remember that besides your method of communication, you need to pay attention to the amount of communication, as well as the quality of the messages that you send.
A virtual workforce can be a good thing for your company and to make it work successfully, everyone involved needs to learn new skills, techniques and communication.
A successful virtual team can help your company save money and increase productivity!
What tools do you use to keep in touch with your virtual team members?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC and author of "The 3x5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People", which is now available in Paperback or a Kindle version at https://tinyurl.com/y8ecykfy