As the pandemic rolls on, do you wonder if hiring an online manager could help your virtual team reach its fullest potential? If you’re like many companies taking their first shot at managing virtual teams, it hasn’t exactly been a transcendent experience.
You may feel like your grandma trying to use her smartphone for the first time. Or a child taking their first wobbly baby steps. If so, that’s to be expected. Many day-job workers are now working as a remote team for the first time.
The famous saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ holds a similar truth. Necessity is also the mother of the implementation of that invention. People tend to be uncomfortable with change because even good change can take an enormous amount of energy to implement—at least initially.
That’s where many workplaces have been with the idea of integrating remote teams for the past decade or so. We’ve seen a gradual increase in remote workers but not to the extent you’d think given how technology continues to rapidly improve.
For years now, the idea of having virtual teams has been an attractive consideration. More life flexibility/increased productivity for employees while cutting down on the overhead costs of housing physical employees has been regularly discussed.
So, what are some challenges businesses are facing when trying to oversee virtual teams during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some biggies.
Experienced Virtual Managers Are in Short Supply
They’re scarcer than meat, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and computer devices used for remote work. We’ve delved into a world that seems more like something out of a sci-fi novel instead of real life. And we had little to no warning beforehand.
You may have been immediately forced to go online with your project management. It’s been a bit like learning to fly a plane once you’re already in the air. And that’s a lot of added stress on everyone involved.
On top of that, finding an experienced virtual manager to help you walk through the challenges of getting started hasn’t been an easy task. There are way more businesses still trying to figure everything out compared to those who are used to leading virtual teams.
Overseeing Employee Success Without Being Intrusive
Another major challenge is overseeing projects without being intrusive, obnoxious or downright creepy. At its worst, stories have emerged where supervisors want to see their now virtual employees on video all day. On the other side, the newly dubbed online business manager isn’t getting the results that are needed.
It’s been a painfully delicate balance, to say the least. Because when you compare an in-person work experience with a virtual one, you’re nowhere close to comparing apples with apples.
How do you oversee projects and achieve the needed productivity without becoming a micromanaging nightmare to your employees? The best answer is that delicate balance comes with a lot of learning, experience, and trial and error.
But the manager online who just days earlier was overseeing physical employees will naturally struggle with this balance. It’s not their fault. There just wasn’t the available time to acquire those skills before all of this happened.
Knowing How Much to Expect of Your Virtual Team
Those who expected to simply go remote and experience productivity similar to before the pandemic began have been sorely disappointed in nearly all cases. The trouble is, there are so many variables at play that it’s hard to know what to expect.
Demand too much and your employees will burn out and become resentful. Expect too little and your profit margins could jeopardize your bottom line or even the existence of your company.
Yes, there’s the major challenge of everyone learning to work remotely with kids, dogs, and a thousand other interruptions (not to mention sickness-related concerns). But on top of that, everyone’s feeling general stress simply because of the weightiness of the pandemic.
These have been uncertain and scary times for most and that’s made it all the harder to focus and accomplish the normal amount of work.
Could Your Business Benefit from Hiring an Experienced Online Manager?
In her “Forbes” article entitled The Sensitive Leader’s Guide to Managing a Remote Team During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Melody Wilding shares the following:
“Now more than ever, your team needs you to step up and provide much-needed structure, direction, and support. You can be the manager they need, all without sacrificing your well-being or stressing yourself out in the process.”
If you’re able to manage the stressors of leading a remote team during the coronavirus pandemic, good for you! However, if you increasingly find this task too overwhelming, Smart to Finish can assist you. Having a seasoned manager online (especially now) can make all the difference for your company.
At Smart to Finish, we can provide on-demand experts for your business when you need them most. Whether you have an immediate need for an online business manager, virtual assistant or virtual team, we’re here to make a positive difference.
Would you like to learn more about how Smart to Finish can propel your business forward during the coronavirus pandemic? If so, feel free to get in touch with us for a free 30-minute consultation.