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Managing a virtual team: productivity and performance

With the increased uptake of mobile work styles, it’s high-time managers recognise the many benefits that lie hand-in-hand for businesses with flexible and mobile teams.

More than half of Australian small businesses claim to already offer mobile work policies, compared to 44% globally[1]. Here are our top tips for team managers to take a tailored approach to performance management, productivity, effectiveness depending on a team’s location and dynamic.

Lead from the front:

Businesses should practice what they preach. If collaboration solutions have been deployed, everyone in the business, from the CEO down, must be able to easily adopt and use the technology to work collaboratively with their teams regardless of internal hierarchical structure or geographical boundaries. Providing accessible and easy to use technologies that can be used at every level of the company empowers internal teams for the best success.

People Intelligence’s Lindsay Morgan, CEO, has been modelling this approach, putting technology innovations in place that can help every staff member from the first day of implementation. Lindsay implemented cloud-based video conferencing for her and all staff to conduct remote interviews without losing essential face to face contact. By choosing a cloud-based solution, she ensured staff at every level could easily schedule, launch and manage video interviews for candidates in any location.

Build a reciprocal environment of trust through technology

Maintaining a cohesive team environment with team members on-the-go is essential, regardless of geographical boundaries. A risk with a large mobile workforce needn’t be ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Putting an environment in place where team members have the tools to communicate effectively, manage projects and understand the responsibilities of being remote can foster a productive, collaborative and happy workforce.

Provide location-based productivity tools

Maintaining an effective and productive mobile workforce is essential, regardless of location. Provide a work environment that offers the best tools for effective communication and project management. Whether its cloud tools that can be shared and accessed easily, videoconferencing, social platforms or instant messaging and email, ensure you can support your employees working from any location. The work-from-anywhere-workforce may not have a one size fits all solution and each business should adopt the technologies and solutions that best fit their business model.

Companies such as Gecko Game Co stay connected and track progress toward their projects through online social collaboration tools such as Podio. This takes conversations off email and enables real time updates on projects across team members located throughout Australia.

About the Author

Lindsay Brown, Regional Director, APAC Citrix SaaS.

[1] Citrix research of 1262 SME decision makers, 2013

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