3 Key Essentials When Going Virtual – Even When it’s Temporary 

By: Jaime Beckstrom & Bethany Evans

Amid the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, many companies are looking to transition their workforce to a temporary virtual environment and restricting unnecessary travel.  Not all companies may be ready for the transition from face-to-face to a virtual working model. With 15 years under our belt as a global virtual consultancy, we wanted to share three key essentials for success in a virtual workforce.

Tools & Technology

First, choose appropriate tools that are easily adaptable and support real-time communication and collaboration to keep your team connected from any location. For example, you can leverage available instant messaging and online social platforms and even adopt a virtual whiteboard platform that will allow for real-time collaboration and problem solving. Streamlined systems such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint help create operational efficiency by having resources available at your fingertips, allowing you to identify overhead cost savings, and nurture your team’s ability to focus on doing what they do best. We’ve found that teams who implement intuitive and flexible performance tools are able to increase profitability by 25% on average. How’s that for an unexpected benefit?

Define the Rules of Engagement

Start by revisiting your work processes and communication systems – Do they easily translate to a virtual model? Can office calendars be shared? Have the office phones been forwarded? Has your team established an agreed upon response time?

Working virtual is not for everyone, so it’s important to consider everyone’s preferred method of communication and have supervisors and managers proactively stay in touch with team members. For example, if the virtual environment is new to your company, you may find the need to communicate even more frequently and deliberately both with your team and with clients.

These are all important rules to establish prior to taking your team virtual.  Having them in place early, along with clear employee expectations, will allow for a smoother transition.

Virtual Structure

Even though organizational charts and reporting structures may be in place, it is important to have a documented virtual structure. Identifying internal connections and implementing a structure of virtual communications supports optimal workflow and teamwork. Consider operating in cells or small groups to build a continued sense of community. Establish communication processes within and across the groups on a consistent basis and make sure to communicate any necessary role expectations in the new environment.  A well-connected team results in a higher level of engagement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As EHS Support’s Marketing Manager, Jaime brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of marketing management, strategic planning, business development, and corporate communications to oversee the marketing aspects of our company…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EHS Support’s Chief Performance Officer, Bethany Evans, brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of business management, strategic planning, and culture management to oversee the business related aspects of our company…
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