In part one of this blog, we discussed some of the advantages of having a virtual team. This blog will focus on the advantages this brings to the company and how to get everyone to agree to this approach for creating a successful project.
So how do you get a team to participate? Well, first you need to hire the right people. They need to be self-motivated, team-players, good communicators, and willing to try new things. They also need to understand that if they don’t find a way to make it work, everyone will need to go back to the world of supervised conference rooms and hotel bar food.
The good news is that there are a lot of talented people who really want (or need) to work remotely. This is because there are significant advantages for them such as flexibility, zero commuting, privacy, and comfort. A process that works well can be a win-win for both employees and employers.
What about clients? Well, there are many ways that this type of work style benefits clients. Here are a few:
- It’s less expensive because there are reduced travel costs and clients avoid paying for unproductive time. Remote workers often handle multiple clients and they bill by the hour rather than by the day.
- It’s easier to get true specialists involved rather than settling for generalists who are available to travel.
- It’s a lot easier to schedule a series of short, productive remote meetings than it is to physically get everyone in the same room for full days. This is especially true when clients have their own remote offices and workers.
Are remote meetings productive? Not always. Everyone has experienced the terrible conference calls with a rambling agenda, lengthy verbal report, inattentive participants, and unclear outcomes. But aren’t those just symptoms of a poorly run meeting? A remote meeting can be made more effective by having good leadership and by using the right tools. For example, screen sharing the meeting notes and follow-up items in real-time reinforces decisions and accountability.
Finally, there’s the advantage of having more “homework” time. Yes, it is great to brainstorm as a group in a meeting – but certain other things are best done alone. Quality work often requires concentration, reflection, outreach, and research. This type of effort should happen before and after a meeting by the team members. Hopefully your team is made up of experts in a variety of areas, so give them room to do what they do best.
If stakeholders need to be consulted, then a meeting is the right forum to do that. Being prepared for that conversation saves everyone time. Other reasons for a live meeting include covering emotional topics or dealing with situations that require a deep understanding of reaction or comprehension. Plan your travel around these needs and make it count.
Of course, clients need to buy into this approach for it to work so it’s important to discuss remote team collaboration even before the project begins. Both initial buy-in and ongoing adjustments are required. For instance, any technology barriers will need to be overcome and some behaviors may need to be changed. Client management may need to help resolve any issues to get the full value from this approach.
Successful companies are already operating this way. Are you?
HRchitect has the skills and expertise to assist your company in all of its Human Capital Management (HCM) technology needs. We provide services from strategic planning, technology evaluation and selection, Change Management, Project Management, and implementation services. In addition, with HRchitect as your business and implementation partner, we can create a customized implementation plan that will outline the correct amount of on-site team time along with money saving virtual team support. This will allow you to achieve more with your implementation budget. Talk to the experts at HRchitect to ensure a smooth implementation and to help you get the most from your investment. With HRchitect as your business and implementation partner, we can create a customized implementation plan that will give you’re the correct amount of on-site team time along with money saving virtual team support. This will allow you to achieve more with your implementation budget.