Use these tips to best manage and support your virtual team:
- Upgrade your technology. There are a variety of programs available to bring virtual teams together. Webex and GoToMeeting provide forums for virtual meetings where participants can collaborate and easily share documents. Skype is useful for visual chats and instant messaging.
- Set up regular communication. Don’t make employees feel isolated and forgotten. Schedule 15- to 30- minute weekly one-on-one calls or Skype sessions. Email is easy, but a regular call allows you to connect, troubleshoot issues before they become problematic and monitor progress on projects.
- Hire strategically. Working from home is not for everyone. When hiring for virtual positions, choose candidates who have a proven history of successfully working from home. Or consider hiring employees on a probationary period to make sure they are cut out for working entirely unsupervised—and isolated from the team.
— Adapted from “How to Manage a Virtual Workforce,” Tara Weiss, www.forbes.com.