The thought of having a virtual company that operates successfully is something very foreign to some employers. Many more employers, however, understand the importance of flexibility and have taken steps to employ flexible work practices in their own organizations.
A 100 percent virtual company succeeds not only because of good operating practices, but through a number of activities all designed to feed the success of remote working. As showcased in a Fast Company article titled “How a Company Works When 100% of the Staff is Virtual”, there are many companies that support fully remote teams and do so successfully. You may be wondering how they do this and below are a few of the key points that lead to their success.
Here are seven ways help a 100 percent virtual company to be successful.
1. They go formal and commit to the movement.
A successful virtual company doesn’t go half virtual. To truly embrace flexibility in the workplace, they go in 100 percent. This means that they design policies and procedures designed to support distributed teams while helping individual employees thrive in their careers.
2. They chose the right professions.
Clearly, there are some jobs that simply can’t be done in a home setting. However, as shared by Sara Sutton in the Fast Company article, there are a wide variety of professions at all career levels that are conducive to working remotely. For a business to be successful as a virtual company, they must identify if all or some of their jobs can be done remotely.
3. They hire the right people.
Any good business knows the importance of their human capital. The same practice goes for hiring for remote work. A successful virtual company has hiring practices focused not only on finding someone right for the job, but also possesses the characteristics of a successful remote worker. Such characteristics including the ability to work well alone, good time management skills, and the ability to stay on task.
4. They are flexible.
Allowing employees to work remotely doesn’t stop there. Yes, you want to make sure that work is getting done, but you can’t micromanage every task. In doing so, you can easily reverse the positive impacts working remotely has created.
A successful remote company will be flexible with employees with when and where they get work done. Often times this comes in the form of allowing flexible scheduling. Rather than focusing on each task, virtual companies also look at larger trends to pinpoint trouble areas and make adjustments.
5. They are proactive.
Not only in communication, but all things business. Out of sight, out of mind can be an easy mindset to fall into, but a successful virtual company doesn’t let this happen. Communication lines are kept open and often there are numerous ways to stay in touch. From enterprise networking platforms to instant messaging systems, and established meeting schedules; virtual companies provide numerous ways to stay in contact. Additionally, resources and tools are tested and implemented to streamline team processes. Real-time document sharing is one such tool.
6. They harness the power of technology.
Technology can help people not only with getting their work done, but developing a sense of a real office. Some software offerings, such as Sococo, offer employees the sense of an office while providing the ability to get quick answers to urgent issues. Not only does this form of software provide individuals with a sense of community, it also helps managers with staying in contact with their teams.
7. They understand the importance of face time.
Being a 100 percent virtual company doesn’t mean you can’t find opportunities to meet face to face. Many companies try to provide opportunities to meet in person; at least once a year. For companies that feel this is not conducive, technology has made it a lot easier to use video software. This can be used during meetings or employed in a more casual setting for informal chats.