The Internet has created an entirely new way of working and doing business … The Virtual Workplace. Many highly sought after employees and contractors have made the switch to working from their own business or home, and many companies have multiple locations (including overseas).
But how do you get everyone working on the same page, keep on top of deadlines and troubleshoot situations when all that stands between you and your workforce is a telephone line?
There are many things to take into consideration when your projects are delegated to different physical locations. For example: how can you be sure each location is sharing everything they know; how do you get to know people from far away, on the same “personal” level your coffee break provides; how do you develop trust between team members; how do you avoid bickering and conflicts?
These are all very good questions and are usually the primary reasons remote projects fail, project managers are replaced or companies avoid the situation altogether. But there are ways around each and everyone of them.
We recommend you read the book “Virtual Leadership” by Jaclyn Kostner, Ph.D. By far the best book we ever read and we sing its praises everywhere we go. Not only does it have the answers you need, but it is easy and fun to read by using one of the most famous virtual leaders in history … King Arthur.
Yes, I said King Arthur. Think about it for a moment, he had to organize and lead an entire country full of lords, knights, warriors and people with differing ideas and individual problems specific to their own locations.
Key points to successful virtual leadership from the book …
- Identify and overcome your three worst enemies (geography, isolation and history);
- Build your leadership power base by accessing the power each “knight” already has;
- Establish trust and unite people who don’t share a common work space;
- Leverage resources across distance;
- Use technology as the bridge across your team’s physical (and emotional) distances.
There is a lot of money to save by allowing your team members to work remotely, or by hiring talent from other countries.
The value is there if you know how to manage the resources effectively.