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Managing a remote or virtual team successfully

Working from home is the “new normal” for a large majority of employees who have been previously confined to working between the four walls of their office, or at best, the beautiful modern open plan spaces or shared offices spaces sprouting across the country.

 

 

But for the past months, COVID-19 has changed everything. When we kicked off the initial 21-day lockdown, my team and I quickly came up with an idea to share daily tips that will help entrepreneurs get through the trying times; we called it the 21 entrepreneurial survival tips.

 

These tips were more than just survival tips because they formed part of a guide that will help shape your entrepreneurial journey to ultimate success. These tips can be applied in many parts of your life, even if you were a corporate entrepreneur or just an employee.

 

I touched on common trends that are seen worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the digital workforce is challenging the traditional workforce, especially during the national lockdown.

 

What we thought we’d see in the future, has been expedited and is happening right now. We are now confined to work from home, and no one has a crystal ball to determine how long this will last but there are people who believe that things will never be back to “normal” again. 

 

We should adjust to the new reality of what is now known as, the “new normal”. Having worked with Virtual Assistants prior to Covid-19, I spent most of my days travelling the world working away from a traditional office. So, we have experience working remotely and leading a team of experienced individuals from afar, but for most of you, this is all unchartered territory.

 

 

I believe that even after social distancing regulations are lifted, organisations will develop new policies and adopt some aspects of working from home and from anywhere if people are responsible enough to get their job done.

 

If you want to remain relevant in this disrupted world and be in it for the long journey, you don’t just have to adapt to working remotely, you also need to grow strong leaders and an incredible global culture that embraces digital tools that make it convenient as well as efficient to work remotely. 

 

However, the reason why some are still struggling to adjust to leading a virtual team could be because the organisation need:

 

  1. Strong leadership abilities
  2. Innovative and disruptive thinkers
  3. Resourceful teams with an incredible ability to getting things done
  4. People who understand the goals and vision and have great communication skills

 

Fortunately, we have compiled a list of tools and recommendations that will assist in refocusing and guiding management towards managing virtual or remote teams, so daily tasks can still be done and done timelessly.

 

Having worked remotely for over 8 years, I will admit that there are days when it’s still an adjustment but the benefits are far rewarding. Working remotely isn’t just beneficial to companies (such as saving money on office space, ability to attract global talent) but it’s a great way for employees or team members to find better opportunities without sacrificing or compromising productivity.

 

So even if you are struggling to see the upside right now, there are benefits to a virtual future. The key is to learn and embrace new skills and tools that will help you adjust.

 

Teams who work virtually need to adapt their processes and communication methods. Here are 5 apps & tools my team and I use daily to strengthen our virtual communication:

 

  1. Slack is a great way to arrange communication in channels and have dedicated team members to attend to queries in the most efficient way possible. Other variations to Slack will include Discord.
  2.  For task management, I love Asana but the key to any task management app is to be consistent & get your team on board.
  3. With Loom, you can capture your screen, voice, and face and instantly share your video in less time than it would take to type an email. It also tells you when someone has viewed your video AND they just released a mobile app.
  4. Calendly isn’t just great for sales calls. It’s a convenient way to create virtual “office hours.” It also saves us the headache of endless back and forth emails to find a time that works for both parties.
  5. Zoom for scheduled meetings, there’s nothing better. You can host webinars, share your screen, help someone with a tech issue with their remote access feature, demonstrate your ideas on a whiteboard and set fun virtual backgrounds to lighten the mood. Other variations could include Microsoft Teams, and Skype.

 

Wish you all, an amazing journey towards your ultimate success, and make sure you learn new skills during this pandemic and trying times.

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