In business, think it’s only possible to work in close proximity – such as the next cubicle over – in order to complete tasks and serve clients? Not in today’s technologically advanced workplace. It’s becoming all about virtual team work which allows members to work from anywhere and everywhere. According to Telework Research Network, in 2011, 42 percent of U.S. companies allowed for some of their workers to handle work duties remotely; in actuality, this amounted to a whopping 30 percent increase from 2007.
So, how does one go about building a truly winning virtual team and what are some of the benefits inherent in this technological form of long distance business communication? Let’s find out!
Building a Winning Virtual Team
What component go into creating a winning, effective, productive, and competitive virtual squad? In short, team members need to:
- believe in the team,
- listen to all members,
- understand roles,
- collaborate and be open to new ideas,
- communicate effectively through verbal and written means, and
- celebrate group successes in order to foster a positive work environment.
Rules to Live By for Successful Teams
Gather the group together, brainstorm ideas, share past team experiences, and enumerate the rules for success so that each member knows how to act. Go over guidelines for participation, communication between members, respectful behaviour and actions, feedback, accountability, and team decision making and problem solving.
With set rules in place, there’s a control factor. Stress and anxiety are lowered and the potential for conflict lessens.
What’s Most Important to the Team?
In essence, as a team member, you may be working across time zones – with the potential for different languages and cultural tendencies – and with others whose work style you may not have a firm grasp on. So, what can you do to make sure the flow of communication goes off without a hitch?
- Document your interactions: Write it down, no matter whether the information came through social media, email, instant messaging, video conferencing, or by telephone. Write it all down, keep a written record of all interactions, and store in a universal shared space for all to be able to access.
- Repetition through – you guessed it – repetition: Be sure to say something more than once and to a variety of team members/groups. Repeat, repeat, and repeat in order for members to get the point and have it firmly ingrained in their memory banks.
- Simplify your communication style: Simply speak and deal with others as you would like to be communicated with and things should work out just fine. Listen, be fair, include all members, and be honest.
CPA4IT and the Virtual Connection
For us, we have a winning virtual team of account managers and assistants who work collectively on individual clients’ financial statements and tax preparation. By using Zoom, our team members can successfully communicate virtually with clients. Fortunately, these video conferencing and online meeting tools can add just the right amount of visual flair – plus an ability to read facial expressions and body language to boot – to the proceedings, allowing for face time from many, many miles away. There’s flexibility, security, and an ease of use that’s unrivalled thanks to these technological advances.
Interested? For more information on our services, head over to CPA4IT.ca to learn more! Or call 1-800-465-7532 today!