Manage Your Virtual Team Successfully

Sean Dailey, Ytel |  

Working remotely certainly has its perks. The Cloud makes it possible for virtual employees all over the world to connect, share data, and work seamlessly together, regardless of location. If your business has the opportunity to offer employees the chance to work remotely, you'll have no trouble attracting great talent.

Working remotely certainly has its perks. The Cloud makes it possible for virtual employees all over the world to connect, share data, and work seamlessly together, regardless of location. If your business has the opportunity to offer employees the chance to work remotely, you'll have no trouble attracting great talent.
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Here are ten tips to optimize the productivity of your virtual team:

Schedule weekly meetings


Remain in touch with your team throughout the week so nothing slips through the cracks and everyone remains on the same page. Have all team members provide an update on what they're working on, what they need support with, and what they've accomplished weekly. Having your team members hold each other accountable from the beginning is the best way to keep a virtual team successful and on task, consistently.


Provide organizational tools


Encourage your employees to utilize the tools provided for them, in order to sync up with their co-workers on various projects, to ensure productivity and accountability, and to make the virtual transition an easy one for those who are working remotely for the first time.


Ensure department overlap throughout the workday


Simply put, if you have employees in other countries or on opposite ends of the country, there has to be some time overlap where everyone is dialed in at the same time. Do this so high priority tasks can be taken care of immediately during this time, and everything else is handled afterwards.


Use project management tools


Using tools such as Evernote and Google Docs will provide simple collaboration methods for your team that are essential to a successful business. At Ytel, we use Google Docs for various purposes, including brainstorming, specs, content creation and general team collaboration.


Make sure upper-management is available


Your key leadership team should be available to provide assistance and support when necessary. All hands on deck isn’t always plausible, but your employees need to know that there’s someone they can consult with and get additional support from, should they need it.


Set and manage employee expectations


The best way to avoid discrepancies or misunderstandings with your employees is by setting the expectations very early on. You can provide guidance and support, but ultimately, it’s up to them to stay motivated and productive in their position. Make sure they fully understand what is expected of them, and that they will be held accountable if they fail to meet those expectations. 


Practice transparency with your team


Be sure to share the internal policies, rules, and expectations with your team. Some people aren’t suited to work remotely; they can’t flourish without the in-office environment and struggle to work by themselves every day. Make sure they know they are always able to discuss their needs with HR, and encourage them to do so whenever necessary. Also, include your team in company news so they know what's going on and feel like they're keyed in.


Meet in person, every quarter


Use this opportunity to get to know your team members, give them the chance to voice what they like/what they feel needs improvement in the virtual workspace, etc. Hosting this meeting is an effective way to show your employees you care about their happiness and satisfaction in working for you, and you appreciate their dedication.


Allow flexible hours but maintain structure 


Be flexible with scheduling. As mentioned earlier, a workday overlap is ideal, but that doesn’t mean all your East Coast employees need to work the exact same hours every day. Be flexible with them and they’ll do the same for you!


Nurture and encourage the 'team' vibe


The culture and lifestyle of your company is unique, and it should be nurtured and maintained by all facets of management. If you do this correctly with your team, they will feel a loyalty towards the business because they're a part of it. Instilling this kind of brand loyalty with your employees is invaluable.

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About The Author

Sean Dailey, Ytel

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Sean leads the People, Culture, and Partnership efforts at Ytel. After almost 5 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move into an internal recruiting role, where he could have more of a direct effect on growth and people’s lives That’s when he met Ytel and the rest is history. Sean is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on people and building relationships.


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