Virtual assistants have empowered businesses around the world. They add value to a business’ clientele and lessen the workload of the business owner. Hiring them is also more affordable than hiring traditional office employees.
Still, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are bumps and hurdles to overcome as with any other work relationship.
In this post, we discuss 3 common challenges of managing virtual teams.
1. Time Zone Differences
At Bottleneck Distant Assistants, we give business owners the liberty to choose their preferred work schedule for their DAs.
Some request their VAs to work during the same time with them, and some allow them to work during regular Philippine office hours. Others hire their VAs to work on a flexible work schedule, allowing them to work anytime they want.
Work schedules are dependent on the job role of the DA. Virtual teams with multiple capabilities may consist of Distant assistants working on different shifts in a day.
The challenge of managing virtual teams come with the business owner’s desire for immediate feedback. As much as you would want an urgent response to a particular concern, it is inevitable sometimes to hear back from the VA 8 or 12 hours later. In fact, they might be fast asleep when you try to connect with them.
Moving forward, you can develop strategies to stay connected with your team’s work and constantly improve your communication.
Trust is an important resource in managing virtual teams. It boosts a team’s morale and work output. It also encourages workplace accountability, whereas low levels of trust only hurt an organization.
This becomes difficult when team members barely know one another or have no idea about what the others are responsible for. It makes room for doubt and misunderstanding. Worse, it leaves distant assistants questioning the value of their work.
“If you know what small modifications to make, you can change the way that people behave around you.” – Arthur Carmazzi
It is easy to spot issues of trust in an organization when there is blaming among its members. According to Carmazzi, blaming can create a detrimental workplace culture. It affects not just the average Joes but also the high-performing workers.
VAs look to business owners for guidance. They work incredibly hard to help grow your business. Give them the confidence to be their best by mapping out systems and workflows even before hiring.
Together, you can enjoy building unique work relationships that will last a lifetime.
Related: How to Predict High-Performing Teams
3. Face-to-Face Interaction
It is tough when you don’t see your virtual team in person. The lack of face-to-face interaction can make your day seem tedious, dragging and lonely.
The four corners of your computer screen limit how you collaborate with one another on a project. You can’t talk to your VAs immediately, see their actual work environment or bond with them whenever you like.
You don’t see them when you need them and vice versa. It may also be more difficult depending on the collaboration software that you are using.
Choose the right tools to enjoy increased efficiency and engagement in your team and business.
Challenges are part of growing a business. With virtual teams, they are rather more peculiar than bizarre. And with the right people, systems and tools, you can rest assured that your business is moving forward to its goals.
Executive coach Andy Storch said in a conversation with Jaime, “Leadership is highly contextual which means it is different in every company, different in every culture.”
Work on a good strategy that matches your company culture. In time, you can overcome these challenges of managing virtual teams.
Looking to hire a distant assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck Distant Assistants.