No matter where your team is based, a manager’s goal always stays the same: to help their team succeed and grow. The days of commuting to the office are slowly declining as virtual workforces rise in popularity. With work from home policies becoming more and more common, setting up an effective virtual environment is critical to the success of your remote employees and your company.
Here is some of the best advice to successfully manage your virtual workspace.
Take Advantage of Mobile Communication Platforms
The first step to establishing an effective virtual workspace is discovering methods to maintain communication between yourself, in-office employees, and remote employees. When developing your mobile communication system, take into account that you’ll need a few methods to connect with your team effectively.
It is not always practical to hop onto a video call when you need to communicate something to your staff. Fortunately, plenty of platforms enable rapid text-based and audio communication independently while also allowing you to make office-wide announcements in shared channels.
Taking the time to set up a company account on Slack or Microsoft Teams can allow you the freedom to communicate with your virtual workforce over a webcam and an instant messenger – anywhere in the world.
Invest In A VPN to Protect Your Data
Virtual private networks (VPNs) serve as an effective way to secure your company’s data. Depending on your business’s type of work, you will be relaying information critical to your company and data sensitive to your clientele. VPNs offer a wide assortment of security measures that enable companies to conduct business with confidence that this information is protected.
More advanced VPN services offer some security features, including network sniffers and deep packet inspection to ensure that all a hacker sees is encrypted data. There are also authentication programs to ensure that data being sent comes from authorized VPN users and prevent data that has been tampered with from being sent out. Keeping your virtual workforce operating through the VPN will ensure that their home networks will be as secure as in the office.
Avoid Proximity Bias
While remote work is a boon for most employees and employers, it has its challenges. Proximity bias is the unconscious act of giving preferential treatment to team members closest to you. This new concern amongst modern companies is valid as it can lead to some of your top performers feeling undervalued. Some typical results of proximity bias include unintentionally excluding remote employees from:
- Big projects
- Team building activities
- Meetings that contain critical information regarding projects and assignments
- Deserved promotions
A great way to avoid proximity bias is simply being aware and mindful of it. Educate your team on it, make it a point to stay connected with remote workers, and invest in tech solutions that make communication seamless between remote and in-office personnel.
Prepare a Specialized Onboarding Program for Your Virtual Workforce
One disadvantage of remote work is that the onboarding process is different when the employee you bring on cannot come into the office. So, establishing a remote onboarding process to ease the transition for your virtual workforce can be somewhat challenging if you have little experience with remote workers.
The best way to start is to set aside some time to speak with your new hire on Zoom or a similar video call software. It will allow you to get to know your remote worker on a more personal level, but you will also be able to observe them directly as they complete training material.
Training material itself will need to be prepared in advance, however. Experienced staff can preemptively construct modules for your remote hires to complete and submit as part of their training.
ITAC Is Your Hiring Solution
According to researchers at Ladders, virtual workspaces are rising across the United States, with remote opportunities representing nearly 15% of all high-paying jobs. Having the ability to efficiently and successfully hire talented remote employees could make all the difference in keeping your team ready to handle a surge in business. That said, we know that hiring can be a complex, lengthy, and expensive process that you might not have the time to handle yourself.
At ITAC Solutions, our team specializes in recruiting for information technology, accounting & finance, corporate services, and government roles. So, if you need help building your virtual workforce, contact us today.