What is a Virtual Workforce?
The term “virtual workforce” refers to a work environment that allows individuals to work remotely without having to come into the office by leveraging the use of technology. Most technologies in the configuration make use of a local cloud, which stores data on servers for the organization or firm and provides remote access to any member of the team. Depending on the type of your business, the structure provides a number of advantages and disadvantages that might benefit you.
Who would have guessed that we could attend meetings using our phones or laptops while wearing our jammies underneath and business clothes above?
Read Also: The Hybrid Work Setup – Does It Work?
Since the pandemic’s arrival in the country, a transition to a virtual workforce from an on-site arrangement has been imperative. As a Filipino, it displays our strong character and capacity to remain tough in the face of adversity. Also, Bria Homes was aware of this contemporary setup and was contemplating it in the construction of affordable condominiums, houses, and lots that allow spaces to attain work-life balance. It was a sudden introduction of a new workforce arrangement. The setup is difficult to manage anything fresh as someone in charge of governance or management in a business organization. It necessitates extensive research, trial and error, and the construction of new standards and grounds to assist you and your team in attaining the company’s vision and mission.
What are some tips to manage a virtual workforce?
Here are some tips to assist you manage your virtual workforce.
1. Prepare SWOT Analysis for the New Setup
When developing your plan of action for this new setup, it is strongly recommended that you construct a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis to assist you envision the benefits and drawbacks of reinforcing this structure. It is a method of gaining a genuine view of your internal and exterior situations. The purpose of a SWOT analysis in strategic planning is to sharpen one’s strengths in order to generate opportunities and to minimize one’s weaknesses in order to reduce threats.
2. Team Transition Plan
A manager should be able to devise a strategy for shifting from a typical office setup to a hybrid configuration or a virtual workforce. The plan should include the following elements: resources, performance indicators, team operational culture, regular meetings, and any other policies and regulations that will be implemented.
3. Establish Goals
Members should be reminded of the company’s vision and mission on a regular basis. It will act as a guide for them when they operate remotely. Regular reminders of the company’s goals make members feel like they are a part of something special. It is your responsibility as managers to keep your members informed of policy and regulatory developments. In accordance with this, managers should be able to set attainable goals that will act as the organization’s expectation at the completion of a project.
4. Build a Culture
Humans tend to perform effectively in environments where they feel they belong, whether they are office-based or virtual. Creating a culture that will act as your team’s areas of agreement. This allows your employees to get to know one another and share mutual goals, which may lead to long-term goals for the company’s success. It is establishing a community in which everyone feels a part of and conforms. This is a challenge since it is your responsibility to generate material and ideas that will entice your team to participate in. Unlike the office setup where you can tap them on the shoulders for them to talk.
5. Establish Performance Metrics
Salary is a major inducement for employees to apply for home-based jobs. According to the findings of the study, the relationship between monetary incentives and work satisfaction is quite weak. This might be an issue for a manager since the employee would be unmotivated to participate in the company’s problem-solving and self-improvement endeavors. Aside from developing a culture that will serve as a common ground for the team, one method of motivating our members is to establish performance metrics. The performance measures are meant to aid the organization in making informed decisions and communicating effectively with members regarding their performance. Overall, the measurements will help to make the process more efficient, and performance driven.
6. Enhance Interpersonal Communication
One of the issues with virtual workforce is ensuring that there is trust inside the organization. How will the other members know that they are hard at work on the opposite side of their screens? How can they communicate effectively in order to function effectively as a team? Continuous work is required to improve their interpersonal communication abilities. There should be a software in place that allows them to communicate with one another. One method is to utilize social media applications or sites such as messenger, whatsapp, and telegram. They may not be able to interact physically or vocally, but with current communication tools, interpersonal communication may be improved.
7. Structured Communication
Structured communication in a virtual workforce should be established when it comes to depending on information dissemination and for those who need it. Members should also have a point of contact who can assist you in evaluating their performance. Simultaneously, this contact person must be able to establish trust while conducting one-on-one personal contacts. Having organized communication helps members to know who they will contact if they have any challenges at work. It also aids in the elimination of miscommunications, which may be costly to the firm.
8. Meeting Facilitation
Improving one’s ability to facilitate meetings is a prerequisite for adapting to the virtual setup. Managers must encourage active dialogue while still being able to move forward if necessary. The gathering should be able to foster teamwork and brainstorming. It is also recommended that the management choose facilitators within the group who may impose responsibility on the individual. Meeting facilitators should also be able to keep track of agendas and winning ideas generated throughout the meeting. Also, the time for the meeting should be timed and planned to avoid ‘Zoom’ Fatigue.
9. Eliminate Likeliness of ‘Zoom’ Fatigue
Having to look at a computer all day is exhausting on the eyes. In a remote workforce, the only way to communicate is through video conferences such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. This is more likely to happen to managers, the lifeblood of businesses, because they are in charge of holding meetings. Meetings with members, clients, and higher management are scheduled. Long meetings and repeated exposure to video conferencing causes ‘zoom fatigue,’ which has a detrimental impact on your job performance. Its occurrence should be avoided by organizing meetings with breaks, meditations, avoiding multitasking, decreasing screen stimulation, and modifying habits that may contribute to weariness.
10. Celebrate Work Milestones
It is challenging to organize a celebration in a virtual workforce, as opposed to an office setting. You can’t get everyone together in one room for lunch or dinner. As a result, milestone celebrations are often disregarded. Celebration is important because it allows you to commend your team members on their individual performances and offer them a pat on the back for a job well done. As we investigate this new setup, we should consider various methods to convey our thanks to them. It may be a virtual supper where you all dine together in front of a webcam and converse informally without bringing up work.
Written by Vincent Sanchez