Since the pandemic, many business owners have discovered the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. Aside from the monetary savings of having remote workers, employers can build a stellar team with talent from anywhere in the world.
With that said, a few unique challenges present themselves when dealing with a virtual team. Below, we discuss these common problems and what employers can do to remedy them.
1. Lack of a Professional Front
Virtual offices are a great way to create a professional front in all the regions you do business without stretching your budget too far. For example, you may have your headquarters in San Francisco and virtual offices in Melbourne, Mumbai, London, and Berlin. This will give you professional addresses in each of these cities, along with a dedicated local phone number, receptionist services, and mail handling. These little touches make it possible to run a professional-looking business, even if you’re operating out of your mom’s basement with your staff scattered far and wide.
2. Differences in Communication
Good communication is critical when managing a virtual team. It can be difficult getting all the members of the team online and collaborating at the same time. Some team members may prefer instant messaging, while others like quick Zoom calls. Flexible schedules and time zone differences can also make collaborating difficult, so you must set clear and concise rules for when and how team members should be online and ready to collab.
3. Not the Right Tools for the Job
When working in an office setting, everyone has access to the equipment and technology they need to work efficiently. Unfortunately, not everyone has the means to acquire these things when working from home. Some employers are hesitant to foot the bill for these items, not knowing if an employee will stay on board for a long time.
One way to remedy this situation is to have a trial period in which you loan equipment or lease it for them. After they complete the trial period, the company can foot the bill for the tools they need to do their job right.
One of the biggest perks of the remote model is being able to work from just about anywhere. Unfortunately, this often means that distractions are part of the workday. Whether it’s a sick child home from school, the call of the sand and the waves, or simply a desire to take periodic breaks just because they can, remote work can be wrought with interruptions and unproductivity.
As the boss, you must set standards for professionalism and quality no matter where your team works from. They must know that during work hours, they should abide by the same etiquette they would if they were working in a physical office setting.
5. A Lack of Office Culture
There’s something special about office culture that often goes missing when teams work virtually. Sometimes, staff members never even see each other in person, and they rarely get a chance to chat about things that don’t revolve around work.
While it’s important for remote workers to stay productive, it’s also important to foster a friendly office culture. So, encourage your team to use instant messaging to chat, share memes, and swap stories to build a great office culture.
While the landscape of the workplace has changed to a remote model in recent months, there is still a need for teams to feel connected and productive. Using the tips above, you and your virtual team can overcome some of the most common challenges associated with remote work.