Practical Strategies to Manage Virtual Employees

NYC Office Suites provides virtual office space in Midtown Manhattan with many flexible and customizable options.
February 14, 2017

Virtual office space is the work environment of the future, but many businesses are still trying to learn what this actually means for their managers and employees. Running a company with virtual employees is vastly different from operating a more traditional model; however, this innovative approach may be the key to take your company to the next level.

In this article, we’re looking at the various aspects of managing virtual employees and things to keep in mind while overseeing a virtual office space.

Hiring Virtual Employees

It may surprise some managers to learn that the process of hiring virtual employees is very similar to hiring new team members to work in your office.

Spend time assessing the skill set of potential candidates because this is a top identifier in making your decision. But also, pay attention to personality traits and how candidates communicate. Red flags that may come up are candidates that don’t understand their role in your company, candidates that get overly stuck in the details, and schedule inflexibility.

Key Virtual Employee Traits

Let’s face it – some individuals are more suited towards remote work than others. Much of this has to do with a person’s work style and personality. Here are some key virtual employee traits to look for in potential candidates.

  • Self-motivated
  • Independent
  • Highly disciplined
  • Efficient communicator
  • Proactive
  • Assertive
  • Past experience working remotely

Maintaining Communication and Accountability with Virtual Employees

It can definitely be a challenge to readily accessible and open lines of communication and ensure that virtual employees and managers stay accountable to each other. There are many online tools that have been developed to help remote employees and their managers connect in productive and efficient ways. Some of the most popular apps being used for internal communication purposes are Slack, HipChat, and Campfire. Skype, Trello, and Google Hangouts are also good options to try with your virtual employees.

To maintain accountability, it is important to set deadlines and request progress reports, just like you would in a traditional working arrangement. It’s also crucial to explicitly express your intentions and expectations with every project. Finally, provide feedback on a regular basis to keep everyone on the same page and continuously motivated to get the job done.

Tracking Virtual Employee Work Performance

Tracking performance is another major concern among companies that are new to hiring virtual employees. But if your employees aren’t in your office during the business week, modern technology makes it possible to keep track of what they are doing and address problems before they become major problems.

If your virtual employees feel like they’re being spied on, this will make them feel distrusted and decrease morale. However, weekly face-to-face video conferences may help facilitate productive chats about accomplishments and frustrations during the week. Basecamp is one example of project management system that helps track how projects are flowing and how much time is spent on those projects. A variety of web-based platforms can help you set up metrics to measure progress and determine whether remote working arrangements are helping or hurting your business.

The Role of Virtual Offices

Although working with employees virtually can work very well most of the time, sometimes you need an in-person meeting to get the job done right. NYC Office Suites provides virtual office space in Midtown Manhattan with many flexible and customizable options.

Choose your number of private 1-3-desk day office days, 2-25-person meeting room hours, live receptionist voice packages, and even website and social media virtual mail assistant profile addresses. Companies of all shapes and sizes can utilize this part-time service to coordinate and expand professional business operations at a reasonable price and with minimal outlay. Give us a call at 800-346-3968 or send us a message to learn more!

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