How to Start Building a Virtual Team

virtual teamAn essential part of building a virtual team is to keep a human approach to the online medium, creating an environment of work excellence in this particular mode that enables the team to perform at its best.

When is the right time to build a virtual team?

The option of working online is a daily reality, and has become the route many companies and people choose who are interested in taking on innovative projects and ideas on a much broader platform than onsite, making it easier to access several geographic locations at one time.

Starting a virtual team is convenient when:

  • You want the most out of spending and capital
  • You need a multicultural team
  • You want independence and flexibility in project management
  • You need an easier way to reach people in different geographic locations
  • Your company is looking to go global and expand its services in the virtual platform.

Practical Steps

1. Strategic Planning: Before building a virtual team, you need to make sure the company's strategic planning is in place, as this will provide the backbone of your virtual work team. This means firmly establishing the company's:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Common objectives and goals
  • Strategies and concrete actions for attaining the objectives and goals.

2. Getting the team ready: Once the strategic planning is in place, then you can go on to structuring other aspects that will be essential to the team and the company, like:

  • Setting up virtual tools: email, video conferencing, chat, etc.
  • Defining and assigning responsibilities among the team members
  • Defining payment rates based on responsibilities
  • Selecting platforms for your recruitment process
  • Selecting a platform for hiring your virtual team and paying them
  • Preparing tools: Virtual reports, feedback forms, manuals, etc.

Some recommendations

Along with the requirements above, you can start building your virtual team, remembering however from the outset:

  • To disseminate the company policies and dynamics to the new virtual team
  • Establishing basic ground rules for a good collaboration and work environment
  • Defining objectives by project and familiarizing the team with them to create strategies and viable actions.
  • Train the team members in the field and specific duties they will be carrying out.
  • Track and help out the new people to make sure they are following directions properly and to improve the quality of their work.