In this digital era, it’s become very easy to start a company without the need for a physical location. All you need is a business idea, some starting capital, and perhaps a team of qualified personnel and you’ll be good to go. Ever since we embraced the ‘World Wide Web’, it’s become common for corporations, companies, and businesses to go virtual. Now, if you conceptualize it carefully, the concept behind this type of structure or model must be worth every effort.
But then again, you have to think about the challenges of running such a company, like managing a team of individuals working from different time zones. Leah Rosa from Delonixteams says that one of the best ways to ensure the success of your virtual business is to have a reliable means of propagating cohesion and effective collaboration among the team members, along with a means to track each member’s productivity. Especially if you’re dealing with large volumes of virtual tasks to be accomplished, having a professional team of virtual assistants can take a mountain of stress off your shoulders and propel your business to the next level.
With more and more companies opening up and operating remotely, some are experiencing tremendous growth while a larger number are still struggling at takeoff because they lack the basic principles required to run their operations. The concept of running a virtual company is still catching up, but the effects can be felt through the growth of economies and employment opportunities. So what exactly drives successful virtual companies and how do they manage to run their affairs seamlessly?
Below are the basic fundamentals of every virtual company worldwide.
One thing to note is that for you to successfully run or manage a virtual company, you must ensure that all the team players are on the same page. This is can be overwhelming, especially if most of your employees work from different time zones. Virtual companies need to find tools that help them stay connected. Fortunately, we are living in the internet era where communication tools and channels have greatly revolutionized. The world has now become a leveled ground, seemingly smaller than it used to be. Virtual companies are relying heavily on the internet to keep in touch with the clients and with employees from different corners of the world. For teams to be managed efficiently and ensure smooth operations from within and without the company, various tools can be used to facilitate communication in an efficient yet cost-effective manner. Along with their functions, some common connectivity and project management tools include:
- Slack – An effective brainstorming tool for the whole team
- Zoom – Screen sharing and video calls
- Trello – Managerial tasks
- Teamweek – Tracking tasks
- Google Drive – Keeping vital company documents in one place
A few years back, communication used to be one of the biggest challenges for internet-based companies. But today, there are so many tools that help to make communication easier, whether it’s for sourcing opportunities, staying in touch, or building the core values of the company.
2. Promoting Trust
On the same note of dealing with remote workers, you’ll agree that it’s not an easy thing. This is especially the case when projects have been assigned and it’s the responsibility of the employees to complete them. In this scenario, you do not expect micromanagers to be harassing the workers all in the name of supervising, it just cannot apply! So how can progress be tracked in such situations?
Now, there are various time tracking tools used to monitor how much work employees have put in different tasks. Regardless of whether an employee sleeps on the job or not, they are still expected to complete the tasks. And of course, there are ‘disciplinary’ actions taken on workers who don’t finish their projects in good time. On the bright side though, it’s all about being accountable and honest about your working hours, while at the same time, improving the quality of work day after day. This is what remote workers are accountable for!
3. Encouraging and Advocating Healthy Living
There are various challenges associated with working remotely. Workers feel isolated from the world, burnout, along with certain health-related problems. To counter this, more virtual companies create online forums that help to promote healthy living by advocating safer and healthier working practices. From encouraging their employees to take short breaks from workstations to promoting interaction with other team members through the available communication channels and encouraging playful conversations from time to time, there are various ways to promote safer and healthier living among employees. Now, if you consider the success of some of these major virtual companies, it can only mean that they are doing something to ensure that their employees are well-remunerated and are happy doing what they do best. Other strategies to help employees in virtual companies may include:
- Helping them in time management – There is a common misconception that remote workers have all the time in the world. But quite frankly, most of them are the busiest workers out there. The major challenge for most, however, is time management, which is why virtual companies adopt ways to assist remote workers with time management strategies and the best ways to remain productive.
- Helping workers stay focused – Nothing beats the feeling of working from home. You have the freedom to work in your PJs and still manage to put bread on the table! But with much freedom comes irresponsibility. Virtual companies have collectively taken the initiative to train remote workers on the importance of remaining professional and focused. While there are still challenges of working from home, an outlook change can go a long way in boosting productivity.
4. Recognizing Team Leadership
The saying “everything rises and crumbles on leadership” couldn’t be any truer. Like companies that have physical premises who must rely on effective leadership for success in business, virtual companies are no different. At the end of the day, we all take our orders from anywhere. Team leaders in virtual companies play a huge role in bringing an atmosphere of cohesiveness among employees. This is because to be a team leader in such a setup, you have to overcome the limitations and challenges imposed by distance and cultural diversities.
As most businesses continue to explore working virtually, there will continue to be an influx of opportunities in the industry. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to learn the ins and outs of running such a business structure, seeing that it’s still catching up in the mainstream. The above are the major guidelines to follow just in case you decide to want to tap into the world of remote business.