In today’s current business landscape, many employees are now working remotely – whether from home or across countries, continents, cultures and languages. In fact, according to a recent Remote Work Survey, 84 per cent of Australians enjoy the flexibility of working from home and 92 per cent would opt to do so regularly if given the opportunity. Virtual teams also benefit employers — from increasing employee productivity to expanding their talent pool and enhancing employee retention.
Leading Virtually is a professional development course that will provide managers, team leaders and supervisors with modern collaboration techniques and strategies to harness the potential of virtual teams and overcome challenges.
In this leading virtual teams course, you will learn how to adapt and adjust in order to relate to virtual team members with a wide range of backgrounds, experience and languages. You will also learn important leadership skills to manage virtual teams, including using and modelling the right technologies at the right time.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a course in leading virtual teams include:
- Learning how to lead a virtual team
- Exploring the leader and technology’s role
- Studying how to execute a virtual team project
- Gaining insights into interpersonal problems and challenges
- Understanding how to lead, manage and get the best out of virtual work and teams
- Learning about the challenges associated with working remotely
- Exploring how to build team trust and anticipate the diversity
- Studying business continuity planning and virtual collaboration
- Gaining insights into business leadership and influencing change
- Understanding the skills for business analysis
- Learning about the business analyst as a facilitative leader
- Exploring communication for success and using communication tools effectively
- Studying how to choose, use and model the right technologies
- Gaining insights into the challenges associated with leading remotely
- Understanding how to lead the entire team towards achieving goals
- Learning how to build common ground and reap big results
- Studying when it’s beneficial to collaborate
- Gaining insights into the factors and obstacles that prevent collaboration and design solutions
- Exploring how to calculate collaboration costs
- Studying how to plan and manage the virtual project
- Understanding how to build, manage and empower a high-performance virtual team
- Gaining insights into managing project execution and sustain project success
- Understanding how to lead a multicultural virtual team
- Learning how to use technology to collaborate and communicate
- Exploring the development and management of virtual and matrix teams
- Studying how to manage employees in remote locations
- Examining how to clarify what you want and need from team members
- Understanding daily scheduling, feedback, performance management and feedback
- Learning how to set clear expectations for your team
- Exploring virtual leadership, mindset, approach and working virtually with others
The Benefits of Working Remotely
Working remotely has become a popular workplace trend that is seen by many managers as an ideal solution to the current global pandemic situation. Many employees have also realised that they can adequately perform their job roles away from traditional workplaces. The trend has also revealed the immense potential of businesses, remote employees and those who are charged with leading virtual teams to be able to thrive in the digital age. But what are some of the main benefits?
Enhanced work and life balance
A recent industry survey found that over 56 per cent of remote workers in Australia found the daily commute the factor they least miss about working in an office. In fact, according to the Melbourne Institute, long-distance commuters are more likely to lose or quit their jobs within the next year, and they have lower levels of overall job satisfaction. A greater work/life balance can make all the difference to the happiness of a remote team, particularly if employees are effectively managing their work environment, and managers are guiding and trusting their team.
Increased employee productivity
This same survey found that 84 per cent of remote employees are enjoying the experience of working from home, which is contributing to them feeling more productive in their roles. This is an important factor, particularly when a 2018 study into the mental health of corporate Australians found that almost one in three were suffering from some form of mental illness. This can lead to employees taking time off work for stress-related purposes, which increases the expense for business owners.
In fact, Safe Work Australia has estimated that this loss in productivity costs Australian organisations over $6 billion per year. The introduction of flexible work policies enables organisations to improve their desirability, increase retention rates, and create a healthier and more productive work culture. It’s a win-win for both employees and employers who are leading virtual teams!
A greater talent pool
A remote approach to work essentially means there are no boundaries with location, and employees can be sourced and employed from across the globe! This means employers have a wider talent pool in terms of hiring “top talent” and it will take less time to fill roles, which will ultimately mean a decrease in recruitment costs in the long term.
A reduction in overheads
This factor is pretty much a no-brainer. If there is no need for office space, then there are no overheads for cost centres. Offices used by less people and used less frequently (or not at all!) can result in lower operational costs compared to if they were operating at full capacity.
An inclusive working environment
If the talent pool is broadened by including people with different backgrounds and cultures as part of your team, there will be an increased opportunity to improve diversity and inclusiveness in the organisation. It can create more equitable employment opportunities and help reduce inequality. Employees such as parents, those with disabilities and those unable to commute to the office due to their location can also be offered a wider choice of career options.
Remote Working Trends
According to multinational professional services network, KPMG, remote work is definitely here to stay and our notion of “work” will change completely in the future. It will become a thing we “do” as opposed to a location we go to. Work hours will become more fluid as employees focus more on output instead of input, and emerging technologies will expand and enhance the possibilities of an increase in remote work. Those who are leading virtual teams will also be required to play a more active role in supporting the connection and mental health in their teams.
So will there be actual offices in the future? Research has shown one thing employees miss the most about the workplace is social contact. This includes their friendships with colleagues, bouncing ideas off co-workers, the ease of communication with team leaders, and the general energy of the office environment. A combination of a remote working strategy and workplaces that encourage creation, collaboration, learning and team bonding will become the new normal!
Four Great Tools For Team Communication
Communicating and sharing knowledge remotely has never been easier thanks to the digital resources now at our fingertips. Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger are already ingrained in our day-to-day lives, but other platforms also worth considering include:
#1 – Zoom
This is a remote video call platform that aims to make communication easy … from anywhere! Functional tools like screen share and waiting rooms make virtual tools, company forums and remote work from presentations easy. Different plans are also available, with the most basic option FOC!
#2 – Slack
Slack is the ideal tool for setting up your remote team for success. It can ensure no one in the team misses a business update and will keep them accountable for their work arrangements. Different channels can also be created for different topics (as an alternative to email), and it has an inbuilt video conferencing capability for hosting online meetings.
#3 – Join.me
Physical distance is one of the biggest challenges of remote work, and this tool is ideal if remote employees are craving face-to-face time. Available on any device, it allows you to share your screen and easily host virtual meetings via a shareable URL that colleagues can log onto whenever they feel like a chat!
#4 – Workplace
A collaborative tool operated by Facebook, it enables organisations to stay connected by mimicking the social media experience we’ve all become familiar with. You can run polls, join project groups, and share video and team-wide announcements. Video and call functions are also available along with other features like the Knowledge Library that allows users to easily share static content.
Develop the knowledge and skills to manage, lead and inspire virtual teams effectively and efficiently with a leading virtual teams course such as our Leading Virtually course.