With more and more work done remotely or with virtual contract employees, are you prepared for this change in the corporate climate? Do you have an Outstanding Virtual Presence?
The ability to stay in control of your business by having a professional, inclusive, and effective virtual presence provides key leadership to your virtual team members. Whether you are hiring a contract employee or you are that contract employee, having a clear set of standards and expectations will serve both of you in the long run.
Be Clear and Concise
There is something to be said for getting to the point. When completing work on a virtual team, it is vital to be clear and concise with directives and instruction. There is no need for extra "fluff" when presenting information to a virtual team.
You want to make sure your message isn't lost in a wordy conversation that gets off-topic. With the limited amount of time you actually spend interacting with a virtual teammate, you need to make every work and second count.
Presenting information clearly also reduces the number of revisions or downtime when waiting for a project to complete. Wasting valuable production time is not something any team member wants. Efficient and concise direction allows the focus to be on the work at hand, not on further clarification. If there is a need to provide additional information, do your best to limit the number of times you contact your virtual team member(s). Start a list of concerns or questions and present them at one time. Take your time to thoroughly review the information so you can present yourself knowledgeably and effectively.
Use Apps and Software Comfortable for All Team Members
You may have found a Great, New app for team communication, but maybe not all team members are up-to-speed using it effectively. Choosing software and apps with little to no learning curve will allow all team members to maintain productivity instead of having to learn a new method by which to communicate. Unless you are providing the same training to all team members, you cannot anticipate all members will be able to use the same methods efficiently.
Make yourself aware at the onset of a virtual collaboration what software and apps all members are comfortable using for team communication. Doing this in the infancy stage of the collaboration will provide the information necessary to know if your work relationship will progress at the rate needed for your production timeline.
Set Clear Deadlines
By establishing a timeline for each step of the production process, you will create a professional atmosphere and set an expectation that deadlines are met.
Approaching the subject with wishy-washy expectations or deadlines leads to a less than stellar product. Providing clear deadlines and revision schedule provides structure to a team that will not see or talk with each other regularly.
Setting a weekly update call with the team will provide an opportunity to hash out any discrepancies in directions or progress of a project. If you need to talk more frequently, be clear in setting that structure. By creating boundaries and an environment where all team members participate, you establish a unified team that recognizes their importance in the phases of production.
Create an Atmosphere of Respect
Showing up to a virtual team situation with the respect of everyone's time and skillsets, you will create an atmosphere of mutual respect. Being the force that drives a clear recognition of what it means to work together as a team, building on the strengths of each member, you will create an established chain of command. Each team member brings different experiences and skills to the table. By recognizing each, you show attention to detail and respect for each member's level of expertise for the assigned project.
Respecting each other's limitations and knowledge base allows your team to be more efficient in the production phase and will create fewer revisions. By paying attention to each individual, you show that each person is important and deserves credit when it is due. It also creates an inviting atmosphere where open communication is the norm.
When you can master the art of teaming up virtually, you become a respected professional sought out for future work. Each encounter presents opportunities to build your business through effective teamwork and communication.
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