Working with a virtual workforce is becoming quite a hot trend, with more and more companies choosing to work virtually and avoid the traditional way of working in a serviced office space, for example.

There are a number of advantages to working with a virtual workforce, some of which include that no time is wasted (because employees do not have to make the long commute to the office) meaning that the time saved can be used to do something more productive instead. Another advantage of working virtually is that both the employees and company would save a lot of money on rent, utilities and commuting.

But thanks to improved technology and businesses looking at different and creative ways of working, virtual workforces and working remotely have become increasingly popular – with some businesses starting off by allowing their employees to work from home once a week, and others going completely virtual and forgoing an office space altogether.

However, not all aspects of having a virtual workforce is easy, and one of the aspects that some employers, managers and senior employees struggle with the most is managing a workforce that is not physically in their presence. To help combat the difficulties that may arise with a virtual workforce, we are going to look at three tips that will help you to manage your virtual workforce with ease in this art

Build the Right Workplace Culture

Building the right company culture in a virtual workplace is of great importance, because you do not want your employees to feel disengaged and, in turn, be unproductive. In order to build the right company culture for both you and your employees you can take a number of steps. Firstly, you – as the company’s CEO, boss or senior – should work remotely yourself. This only applies if you only work remotely once or twice a week, and you will find that your employees will feel more comfortable working remotely themselves if they know you are too. Secondly you can start to integrate ‘perks’ and benefits like you would in a traditional office based setting. Some of these perks or benefits could include incentives like extra money when you reach targets or a monthly dinner if they sell more products than the month before.

Set Boundaries and Enforce Rules

As the head of your company you should have a list of basic rules that should be followed by all of your employee at all times. This is very important for a virtual workforce, as they need to know what their boundaries are when it comes to their daily routine and targets. Your boundaries and rules may consist of adhering to specific office times – as working virtually is not the same as flexible-working, where you can work your hours in when you can or want to – so that all of you are online and available to chat if need be, and are all contributing to the company’s work day, every day. 

Invest in the Right Tools

Investing in the right tools is imperative when it comes to managing a virtual workforce, as they will play a huge part in both yours and your employees’ day-to-day life, contributing to a number of factors that include communication and productivity. Choose apps that can be easily installed on everyone’s computers, that are reasonably priced and that contribute successfully to your overall mission. For example, investing in Skype will help you all communicate more efficiently, as you will be able to host conference calls, share your screen to give instructions and advice, as well as easily instant message each other for quick and simple communication.

The above three points should help you manage your virtual workforce with ease, helping to establish a team that works well together to reach targets and goals, can take direction and knows the company’s rules and boundaries.