One of the first hurdles in developing a virtual team is acquiring the apt services, tools and software that bring home the bacon seamlessly. Internet mannerisms alter too rapidly to allow adherence to a marked track of progress. Professional advisors are literally flooded with mails from business owners seeking advice on creating the right virtual workforce. Here are some tip-offs.
Recruiting virtual staff
Creating a virtual team has to start with recruitment. Hiring people consumes time, money and effort in equal proportions. Skilled manpower is one of the most prominent assets of an organization. There are several tools that can be used for task-based employments. For more regular jobs, part-time or full time employments, better service providers should be banked upon. Websites that hold the consensus of most experts are freelancer.com, elance.com, odesk.com and guru.com.
Project Management Applications
Once workers have been sourced in, it is important to develop a steady communication channel with them. There are some stellar tools that aid in project management. The right solution will help you rise above and beyond the conventional inboxes and keep tasks streamlined – all in one location. The use of these applications becomes particularly pivotal when working on an integrated project (say building a website). Names like hubstaff.com, hivedesk.com and huddle.com instantly strike the mind when speaking of project management applications.
Tools for Communication
Nothing assumes greater importance that seamless and convenient communication with the virtual team. Be it daily communication or the out-of-the-blue client meetings, getting in touch with the team at a moment’s notice is tantamount to meeting client expectations and crunch deadlines. One of the best tools for the purpose is Skype. Here are some other modes of team communication.
- · Google.com/hangouts: allows video calling within group (redacted specifically in favor of virtual meetings)
- · Googleapps.com: volley of services including, Gmail, Google Drive and Slides
- · Google.com/sites: in-company online intranet
- · Groupme.com: team messaging tool (the app from the site is ideal for mobile users)
Most business owners are prone to erring when it boils down to deriving implemental productivity from the new team. Most entrepreneurs are brewed-up with the notion that newly recruited staff will deliver projects in just the way they are supposed to. While the team might be a highly talented one with a penchant for learning, pining for perfection with each delivery is overtly ambitious. In order to make the most of the staff, it is wise to invest some effort in their training even if it drains costs and cuts down productivity initially. Write detailed emails and pass on short notes that help staff comprehend project details better. Audio and video files can be used optimally as well. ScreenFLow, an effective tool that records screen can be implemental in this case. Other important training tools are Lynda.com and mindtools.com.
There is communicating with the team and then there is this – sharing actual information with recruits. Important documents can be stored and shared; both with the same tool. The natural (often instinctive) choice for many is dropbox.com. Files can be shared both across several users and devices. Other options are Google Drive and Box.com.