4 Strategies for Putting Together a Virtual Group

So you’re saying that the future of work will be decentralised? Yes, this “future” may be closer than you think.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people working remotely – more than double the figures from a decade ago, as shown by various research studies. Despite any preconceived beliefs that “remote work isn’t suitable for us”, this could be an opportunity for businesses to reap financial rewards. Reports indicate that companies who have adopted the decentralised approach benefit from annual savings of $11,000 per employee. What’s more, Automattic – the parent company of WordPress – has adopted a completely remote workforce, even though their software is used by a staggering 16 percent of the internet.

Still, there are obstacles to overcome when a team is geographically dispersed. In order to get beyond them, use these methods:

  1. Communicating effectively is essential.

    At Works NYC, we recognise the importance of team unity and we are committed to maintaining it by holding daily video stand-ups at 9:30 a.m. with our counterparts in Singapore and Nairobi. During these stand-ups, team members must provide brief updates on their progress towards yesterday’s and today’s objectives. This practice ensures that everyone is aware of what their colleagues are doing, and it also serves as a way to ensure everyone is awake and engaged by 9:30 a.m. We understand the value of maintaining team unity and we are proud to be a startup that encourages it.

    Buffer, a global social media firm with remote workers based in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia, took the concept of encouraging communication between employees one step further by creating an algorithm that pairs off different coworkers every week for a one-on-one video chat. This innovative approach has allowed the company to foster strong, meaningful relationships between employees.
  2. Start Off On The Right Foot.

    At Works, we have recently come to the realisation that strong relationships within a team are integral to successful remote communication. As a result, we will be sending our developers to your headquarters for a two-week onboarding period. It can often be difficult to feel comfortable engaging in video conferences with unfamiliar people, and misunderstandings can occur even more easily when sarcasm is employed via written communication.

    Intuit has “Engagement Specialists” whose job it is to organise activities and events for remote workers in order to keep them involved and informed.
  3. Raise the Standard.

    From the outset, it is essential to instill a sense of responsibility amongst remote workers. This entails more than just logging onto Slack while binge-watching Game of Thrones. Rather, employees must demonstrate the requisite characteristics for performing their duties successfully outside of a traditional office setting. To ensure that goals are achieved, it is important to define what constitutes success, outline a timeline, and conduct ongoing assessments.
  4. Apply Appropriate Methods.

    Distributed teams require effective communication tools, such as Slack and Google Chat, in order to remain productive and efficient. However, it is easy to become over-reliant on these platforms and the multitude of notifications they generate can be overwhelming for even the most dedicated worker. To avoid this, we suggest that teams select one communication platform and use it consistently.

    After testing out several project communication tools, including Trello, Basecamp, and Asana, we have determined that Trello is the most effective and efficient option. To ensure successful communication between our staff in Singapore and Nairobi, we rely heavily on Google Hangouts and Google Drive. Both of these platforms have been invaluable in facilitating clear and consistent communication across great distances.

Make sense?

This is by no means an exhaustive list; instead, we are always refining our methods and seeking for better ways to do things.

What advice can you provide us? Get in contact.

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