Scale Your Small Business with a Remote, Virtual Team
We’ve talked about hiring and managing a virtual team here on the Intelligent Office (IO) blog before, and now it’s time for small business owners like you to learn how to use your virtual team to grow the business.
If you’re ready to level-up and scale your company, read on for the steps you need to take to create success with a remote team.
When it comes to scheduling, set and adjust expectations as needed
Virtual team members who work remotely often prefer to complete projects on their own timelines. This doesn’t mean the work isn’t getting done, but it does mean that productivity may look a bit different than what you’re used to.
Note that you absolutely can set schedule expectations for remote workers, but they need to be reasonable and agreed upon by all parties. This is especially important if your team works from different time zones and countries.
Regardless of the schedule, you need to trust your team at the end of the day. Micromanaging a remote team is a surefire way to thwart growth and create frustration.
Encourage creativity and give your virtual team real responsibilities
If you’ve hired the right virtual team, you already know that they’re skilled professionals who believe in your company and have what it takes to succeed in their respective roles. As each worker gains expertise in their part of the business, they’re bound to come up with creative new ideas.
The business is yours, of course, but running it as a dictatorship is never a good idea. When you give your virtual team room to improve and innovate how things are done, the results may shock you (in a good way).
Help your virtual team prioritize
Most entrepreneurs have several projects in the hopper at once. You know which priorities are most important, but your virtual team likely needs some help deciding what to focus on first.
Consider this scenario: You send a virtual worker a set of tasks one week and then a list of new action items the next. Motivated employees are likely to assume every task has equal importance, and they’ll want to get everything done ASAP. This will inevitably lead to stress and burnout, because we’re all human.
Avoid these negatives by letting your remote team know when priorities shift. A quick email that says, “X was a priority last week, but new project Y just came in and it has a tighter deadline. Hit pause on X for now and let me know if this new timeline is unreasonable given your workload.”
Check in on your virtual team’s workload regularly
Speaking of workloads, you also need to understand how much your team members have on their plates.
Keeping a pulse on everyone’s tasks can be tricky when working from different locations, which is why it’s never a bad idea to include something like “let me know if this timeline doesn’t work” in your requests. This simple line lets teammates know they can speak up when their workload is unmanageable, and you can adjust timelines accordingly.
Before you know it, you’ll be working alongside a trusted virtual team that helps your small business grow more every day.