As with any job position, certain skills and abilities are needed to be a successful teleworker and member of a virtual team. Common skills needed are ways to manage your time and organize all assignments and duties. When building your virtual team, remember to find employees that can work well under minimal supervision and can function with different types of technology.
More employees have to (or are choosing) to work from home or outside the standard office. It not only saves the company money, but it allows them to expand into other areas and cover more ground. But when working outside of a standard office, you must learn to self-manage. A manager cannot always be present and cannot always watch over your shoulder. You must be able to monitor your own progress and be able to keep track of your assignments and deadlines. If you do not have basic skills of self-management, then you won’t be able to function in a virtual office.
When you work with little supervision, it is important that you are able to manage your time on your own. This does not necessarily mean you must manage every minute or try to force yourself to stay focused. Time management means recognizing when you have deadlines and knowing how long it will take you to finish a project or assignment. Sometimes you can let in too many distractions or try to take on too many duties at once.
Organizing and Planning
When a teleworker has to work in their own office, you need to be sure that all files and assignments (paper or electronic) are fully organized, which is a form of self-management. Ensuring that the office is always organized can boost productivity and reduce errors made by misplaced files or a forgotten assignment. Planning is also an important part of organization because you need to be able to manage your time and resources – especially since you do not have a manager to supervise you at all times. Be encouraged to adapt a universal or adaptable filing system to organize your work for easy access.
Communication can be a difficult aspect to master with a virtual team. You will not only deal with traditional communication issues among team members and management, but you can face additional problems that can cause you to feel additional stress. With your peers not being able to directly come to you when they need to talk; this extra time to reach out to teammates can be a cause of friction. Be open and clear about what you want from your teammates and let them know of ways they can reach you if they have a problem.