Many freelancers dream of being swamped by projects. But what happens when you get more business than you know what to do with?
Some choose to turn away clients. This can be a smart move as you don’t want to take on too much. Others, however, choose to hire outside help.
This can be a great way to grow your business. But, many freelancers find it difficult to manage their virtual team. They have to maintain communication and productivity while ensuring clients still get great content.
If you just hired outside help, don’t worry! Here are the best tips for successfully managing your virtual team.
1. Vet Your Employees
Want to make managing your virtual team as easy as possible? Hire great employees from the get-go.
You’ll want to have a team of responsible, hard-working individuals. Make sure you:
- Consider multiple candidates. You might have many projects on your plate, but don’t hire the first person you come across. Take your time and consider multiple candidates.
- Check their resumes. Thoroughly check each candidate’s resume. Contact references, review sample pieces, and verify past employment. This will ensure you hire someone who’s as qualified as they say they are.
- Hold interviews. Resumes can be deceiving. Before you hire someone, make sure you have an interview with them. Phone or video interviews can help you verify their qualifications and get to know them better.
- Do background checks. Even though you have a virtual team, it is your responsibility to create a safe work environment. Background verification companies can help you verify that the person is who they claim to be.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Many people love virtual jobs. It gives them the freedom to work from the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, some take advantage of this freedom. They may slack off or not produce their best work.
You can combat this by setting clear expectations. For instance, you may require your employees to:
- Have a designated office space
- Be responsive to phone calls/emails during their work hours
- Request time off with X amount of notice
These are just a few examples. Be sure all of your employees are aware of your specific policies.
3. Using a Reporting System
When managing a virtual team, it can be hard to know how much work your employees are doing. A reporting system helps hold everyone accountable.
These systems allow your employees to log their hours. They can also record the tasks they’ve completed and other relevant information. More advanced software lets you monitor your employees’ computer screens as they work.
4. Come Up With a Standardized Workflow
You can’t afford for your virtual employees to become stuck in their own world. They will come up with their own way of doing things, making it harder to collaborate.
So, make sure to come up with a standardized workflow. Establish guidelines for setting up certain documents, submitting files, sharing work, etc. This will keep everyone on the same page.
5. Hold Regular Meetings
To further keep everyone on the same page, hold regular meetings. This will allow you to clear up any misunderstandings and keep in constant touch.
As working virtually can be isolating, meetings also help foster a sense of community. Everyone being able to see each other reaffirms that you have a solid team on your side.
6. Pay Your Employees Well
Virtual employees shouldn’t be a cheap way to outsource labor. They are a valuable part of your team and should be treated as such. Plus, paying them will ensure they produce the best work possible.
Managing your virtual team can be tricky. But, as long as you use tips like these, you will promote good communication, productivity, and a positive work environment!