The world in the twenty-first century has become a lot smaller and better connected. Today, everything is available at your doorstep. Everything that used to require you to get out of your house and go somewhere is now doable at the touch of a button.
Even Employment, which earlier needed a workshop or an office can now be done virtually. The idea of work from home is an attractive concept for the youth since it helps them earn from the comforts of their place.
Distributed teams have a growing appeal in today’s world, as it takes full advantage of the connectivity that the age of Internet offers. The members of the group are in their rooms but still work collectively to make something happen. This is the marvel of technology.
The unusual nature of these teams requires some out of the box thinking for management. Unlike conventional groups, the members are not under the same roof or in the same office. Therefore the work environment is entirely virtual. This leaves very less scope for regular meetings. But it also has some very crucial advantages, if appropriately managed.
Managing a Distributed Team
For someone who desires to bring together and lead a team of individuals to complete a task, communication skills are one of the basic requirements. The leader, as well as the members of the team, must be able to convey their ideas and opinions to each other for the team to work seamlessly.
As a team which has members working in different locations and even across different time zones, coherence and cooperation is vital to ensure the smooth working of the team. In this scenario, proper means and protocol for communication are essential, and often mean the difference between success and catastrophe.
It is imperative to assure that a lack of face to face contact doesn’t affect your work ethic and derail the project. It is also necessary to maintain a professional, yet friction-free environment, and also keep up the productivity. This requires a high level of communication skills and experience.
Use of Virtual Tools
This is a skill that sets the Distributed work environment apart from a real one. The workspace of each employee is personal and located at a place of their choosing. Therefore, the shared workspace or office space is more often than not, virtual.
Specialized communication groups, like Google Groups or even social media, can be used for this purpose. But just because it can, doesn’t mean it should.
It is essential to choose a platform that is both comfortable for all parties involved and offers a distraction-free work environment. Google groups, shared document apps or even a cloud-based shared platform can do the trick. These can be kept to function at a professional capacity and avoid the usual distractions of the Internet.
The presence of an office and a formal work environment is not there in Distributed teams. As all members work from the comforts of their own home, this can lead to a lack of seriousness and lethargy. It is important to nip this in the bud and maintain decency and sense of professionalism in their work. Failure to do so will lead to a chaotic situation where every member needs to be micromanaged to complete their tasks.
Advantages of a Distributed team
Even though the task of managing a Distributed team can seem daunting at first, but it is rewarding. There are many exclusive benefits of having a group that operates at the level of mobility that Distributed teams usually do. Here are a few of them.
The main advantage of these teams is Mobility. The distance between the members is not a problem. Therefore better professionals can be recruited regardless of how far away they may be. Due to this, one can find a more capable workforce and provide better services to the clients, increasing their revenue and reputation in the process.
The mobility factor also helps to improve the communication skills of each member on virtual platforms. It also saves time on meetings as most of them will become shorter and to the point.
It is also beneficial for the employees, as now they can get paid in their own home, giving them a stress-free, familiar work environment.
Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about what suits you the best. For some businesses a distributed team is out of the question. Their operations are not possible without the presence of a team on the floor. Yet, there are businesses which can execute operations with distributed teams and yet deliver the high quality. You need to understand what your business requires and if feasible not shy away from managing distributed teams. Distributed teams are taking work to the cyberspace. In a world where virtual life is growing in importance, this may be the future of offices. With most of the infrastructure on the cloud, this is certainly possible and has quite a few advantages positively affecting the business.
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