By Jenny Boyles & Laura Renner
2020 has brought about a whirlwind of changes that many of us did not see coming. COVID created a new landscape for business and that landscape is virtual! Freedom Makers has always been virtual so this is nothing new for us. But going partially or completely remote is new for a lot of businesses. Five months out since COVID struck the world and some are saying they may never go back to the office. We always had an idea that the future would be more virtual but it seems that the future is here and it is indeed virtual.
In a virtual business...
- You do not have a whiteboard to throw notes up on and leave for all to see when they walk in.
- People do not have the attention span to sit down and hash things out in a meeting all the time.
- There is no water cooler or community kitchen to confirm ideas and meetings or share a joke.
How to Embrace Virtual
You have to shift your culture so that the team can get things done remotely for the long haul. They need to be comfortable communicating online and only jumping onto a video meeting when it is more efficient to handle discussions and decision making verbally.
You need to be comfortable with a deliberate structure for communication. Otherwise your team will feel frustrated by the inability to move forward on initiatives, projects, and tasks. Essentially, find them the best tools to make things happen for your business.
The good news:
- There are so many tools out there, connecting online will not be the issue.
- The talent pool from which you can recruit has expanded to anywhere. Take advantage of that! You do not need to limit yourself to just employees within your geographical location.
- Many businesses already run remotely and have been sharing about their experience and expertise. Freedom Makers have created a library of blogs on virtual and remote work as well as our recent Remote Strong Webinar Series.
Finally, as you embrace virtual for your business and find the right resources for your business, do not forget to provide the support that your team needs. Listen to them as they talk about their frustrations or limitations with current workflows and systems. Provide them feedback on how their remote work is and give them resources to improve if needed. And do not forget that your team needs to be nurtured similar to the ways it was prior when in person. You cannot forget the lightheartedness that would come out of hallway interaction. Be creative and think of news ways to create time with each other. Whether that is taking 10 minutes at the beginning of a virtual meeting to “check in” or creating personal check ins with your employees, it is important.
Yes, the future was becoming more and more virtual and 2020 catapulted that future to now. Virtual has great potential to help grow your business in ways you never imagined with broader technology platforms and personnel options. Embrace it and look for help when needed!