Businesses big and small have embraced working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, this new normal might even be extended until next year, or the year after that. 

A survey from US-based Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) showed that the percentage of workers that would permanently work from home is expected to double in 2021. The reason? Decision-makers say productivity has increased amid stay-at-home orders.

But how would you ensure a high-performing virtual team amid multiple distractions online and offline?

1. Establish goals and roles. Clarify each other's tasks.

As the leader of a virtual team, it's part of your task to establish your goals. It's also imperative to lay down the roles for each member of the group. 

But when work is done remotely, the opportunities that we are able to tap a nearby colleague for quick, little questions on processes and clarifications have been limited. Leaders have to make more concerted effort to coordinate their virtual team and pay more attention on members' specific tasks and how this may be done, according to the Harvard Business Review.

However, when you have limited time on your hands, the use of personal assistants in answering follow-up questions from the team could be a welcome help.

2. Foster task-based trust and accountability.

Working remotely has erased the concept of in-office supervision. So team leaders must rely on task-based trust, based on a global research study by OnPoint Consulting. This is the belief that team members will be accountable for their tasks and will follow through on their commitments.

3. Define the proper technology and workspace.

Selecting the proper program or application for your virtual team is vital in ensuring that they perform well. Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet work best for video communication; Slack could be a choice for managing various groups in one workspace; TeamViewer and AnyDesk could be tapped for screen sharing or remote desk work. The options are endless!

Admittedly, not all would be well-versed in the various options available for digital workspaces. Having a personal assistant in a virtual team could help present the possibilities depending on the scope of work a virtual team needs.

4. Set schedules.

It's important to maintain rhythm even with a virtual team, according to OnPoint Consulting. This means having setting "office hours" with regularly scheduled meetings. That way, team members can adjust their mindset to focus on their tasks when it's time for work. And when things get a little hectic on your end, having a personal virtual assistant like those from OkayRelax could always set a reminder when it's time to meet with the team again. 

5. Provide stability.

It has been noted in studies that high-performing teams have greater stability when there are less staff changes. It's easier to foster trust and dependability among the virtual team when there's familiarity.

 6. Provide training.

Setting online training and webinars for your virtual team not only increases their skills and knowledge, it also gives members a boost of confidence that they are significant to the group. A personal virtual assistant could then be tapped to explore options for these training and fix schedules for the team.

 7. Encourage open communication. 

Global service provider Deloitte noted several aspects of a high-performing culture. This highlights the importance of communication, specifically in highlighting data-driven decisions while opening the possibilities for experimentation and expressing the chances of recovery when failing. Feedback, when done constructively, is also a great way of improving team performance.

8. Provide rewards.

Paying salaries and commissions are obviously a great way of recognizing good performance. But consulting firms have also suggested adding prizes, no matter how small, as an increased incentive for team members to be productive. This may even be a source of friendly competition among the virtual team.

9. Create a virtual non-business related space.

We could never stress this enough: it's important to provide a space for the team to chat about things not related to work, even in a digital space. This would not only improve relationships and foster camaraderie; it would also allow the team to discover each other's strengths and interests.

10. Respect each other's culture.

Individuals do things differently at home. A millennial might be constantly on their phones. One person might prioritize taking care of family during weekends. A leader of a virtual team must take the habits and characteristics of their  members into consideration in allotting tasks while still setting boundaries.

A virtual personal assistant could help not only you but the rest of the team in ensuring goodwill stays in the team. Nothing else would secure a member's loyalty and productivity than knowing their boss respects what is most important to them.

Need a helping hand to ensure you can implement all these? OkayRelax can provide the cheapest virtual assistants available while ensuring your specific and tailored needs will be addressed.