If virtual offices are the future, then the future has arrived. A survey conducted in 2012 by Global Workplace Analytics shows that about 2.6% of employees in the United States (or 3.3 million professionals) considered their home as their main place of work. From 2005 to 2012, telecommuting increased by 79.7%.
Just like in any conventional office setup, the key to having a successful virtual office in Maryland or the Metro DC area is to know how to work with a remote team. If you’re managing a virtual team or are part of one, here are some tips for making the most of this office structure.
Understand Group Developmental Stages
Whether your virtual team is new or you’ve had it for a while, understanding where your group is in terms of its developmental stage guides you in setting expectations collectively and individually.
If the team is in the forming stage, for instance, you’d know that most of the members depend on the leader for direction. At this stage, discussions often center on defining and approaching tasks. A team that is in the performing stage is interdependent. Members can work individually, as a team, or in small groups. Roles change dynamically to adapt to the needs of the business.
Follow Communication Guidelines
To work successfully in a virtual team, everyone should know and follow communication guidelines.
Communication is important in any type of work setup, whether the team is co-located or telecommuting. With rules, your team can avoid miscommunication, which helps everyone to work efficiently. Furthermore, effective communication sets the rhythm of the team, allowing members to prioritize and respond to issues in a timely manner. Think about setting regular meetings to keep everybody informed of the latest changes or developments in the company.
Meet Objectives as a Team
Cliché as it may sound, there is no I in team. You can’t take all the responsibilities, and you can’t get all the praise for a job well done. To work effectively with a group, you need to be a team player. Prioritize the needs of the group over yours and help members who may be struggling with their work. Set objectives and simplify tasks as much as possible. Learn to share responsibilities among your team members.
Being part of a virtual team offers a different kind of experience. Although it may come with some challenges you won’t find with co-located teams, a virtual team also has many advantages. For instance, productivity is increased as members can work on times when they feel most productive. Furthermore, a business can improve their quality of work as the staff isn’t stressed out from travel when starting the workday.
For more information on the advantages of having a remote team and a virtual office space in Maryland or the Metro DC area, contact Metro Offices. We can help you identify business needs and recommend appropriate office space solutions.