In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of entrepreneurs who are running their business ventures from their houses. Many of these businessmen have achieved phenomenal global success with specialized know-how, a web portal, and internet connectivity.
You will agree that it can be a costly and stressful prospect to set up a business of your own. There are a plethora of overheads including the expenses related to refurbishments, online promotion, and marketing, expenses of sites among others to start with.
If a business is expanding and the entrepreneur would like to be cautious while scaling up their business operations, a virtual headquarter – or virtual HQ in short – is definitely a great economical solution.
How is that so?
There are two main advantages offered by a virtual HQ:
1. Virtual Locations – Globally
To begin with, a virtual HQ can be set in any location in the world with respect to the business using it. If it is an e-commerce or an online business, such a headquarter can be used to specify a proper physical address, as well as the much-needed office space. Further, when an entrepreneur wishes to run his/her global business from the comfort of home, it can be highly economical.
2. Assemble Virtual ‘Dream Team’
On the flip side, a virtual HQ also entails hiring virtual teams who work from different parts of the world. Managing these virtual teams may be a big challenge because the business has to create a positive corporate culture albeit remotely. Employers can create their dream teams with the help of these virtual teams that are located beyond geographical boundaries.
Even the employees are benefitted as they can enjoy the much-needed flexibility, as well as, liberty to experience a proper balance between their work and life. However, things are not as easy in reality.
How to Manage Your Remote Team?
Our friends at www.virtualheadquarters.com share some of the top tips to manage your remote teams so that you can run your global business from home successfully:
1. Enable flexible working hours
When you have teams who are working for your business from various geographical locations in the world, it signifies that the entire team can scarcely work at the same time. As such, as a global entrepreneur, you should offer more flexibility to their working hours based on their time zones and ensure that they strike a proper balance between their work and life. Your remote employees will be happy with such a decision and will be more productive as a result.
You can instruct these employees to track time properly for the projects and tasks allocated to them during their scheduled work hours.
2. Make sure that there is effective communication between the team members and you
The first step to accomplishing this is to recruit the right kind of people in your remote teams. The entire interviewing process can be an excellent eye-opener to know how well the candidate can communicate.
The communication skill of your employees is a key determinant for your virtual teams’ success or failure. However, at times it can be tough to assess the communication skills of a candidate acutely. As such, you may contemplate conducting multiple rounds of interviews and through different mediums.
In case the individual will be a full-time remote employee, it is imperative to find out his/her on call and written communication skills. However, physical interviews can be an excellent way to gauge such a skill. So, you may try arranging for a face-to-face interview with such candidates if possible.
Also, try choosing the best software and tools for making your work simpler. Some of the popular choices for effective communication with your remote or virtual team members are as follows:
- Scheduling tools such as Doodle and Calendly
- Prototyping and collaboration tools such as Marvel, Invision, and Adobe XD
- Chat tools like Google Hangouts, Twist, and Slack among others
- Workflow automation software such as Monday, Microsoft Flow, and Zapier
- Video and web conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex
- Project Management tools
However, you need to remember that all tools may not be an ideal match for your teams. So, you may go for trial periods to ascertain and shortlist tools that are the best for your trams. Also, conduct training programs for your employees on the selected tools/software to make sure that all of them are using those tools to the complete benefit and consistently.
3. Plan and conduct meetings based in distinct time zones
This point was touched upon briefly earlier in another context. However, it is also essential that all meetings with your remote or virtual teams should be organized based on their time zones.
Once you have already decided on the time of these group meetings, you can then conduct these meetings by taking your pick from different tools such as Google hangouts or Skype video conferences.
4. Encourage team building and close collaboration
When there is effective collaboration among your team members, they can bond well and develop the trust factor. It happens when your employees are familiar with the thought processes of one another, as well as, working styles. Additionally, when these team members can build on the ideas and thoughts of each other, their relationships will be even better.
There are various merits of effective collaboration. Firstly, teams can be clearly defined. Secondly, it also builds up the expectation that these employees will collaborate while working even though they are based in different geographical locations.
It is crucial for remote team members to know who they should report to and where they should belong. An entrepreneur should motivate his/her teams to interact regularly with one another via video conferences. After all, more frequent face-to-face interactions can create an element of familiarity and belongingness.
5. The entrepreneur should attend virtual teams training
At times, the entrepreneur should undergo virtual team training prior to handling it later on. There are many ways to manage virtual teams. As such, these training courses typically include the following kinds of training programs:
- Technology training – so that you know the kinds of tools/software to use to manage the virtual teams
- Cross-cultural training – It is crucial when an entrepreneur has to work with teams with employees from different cultures. Your team members have to appreciate the best way to work in a multicultural setup.
- Group processing training – The team should manage different challenges related to projects assigned to them.
Thus, it is obvious from the above discussion that it needs a lot of special skills, the right kind of technical support, innovation, and flexibility to manage your virtual teams to manage your business successfully from your virtual HQ.