Virtual Is Life: Best Practices to Scale

Taylor Sturtz, Ytel |  

Virtual is pushing a change in the way people work and how businesses operate. It's increasing flexibility, productivity, and cutting cost on real estate and staggering office expenses. Since we don't imagine the remote work option fading from our horizons any time in the distant future, we put together some best practices that will help your company scale.

Virtual is pushing a change in the way people work and how businesses operate. It's increasing flexibility, productivity, and cutting cost on real estate and staggering office expenses.

MEETING BEST PRACTICES 

1. Be on time 

  • Every employee should make it to scheduled meetings on time, unless there's an emergency. A great way to stay on top of your meetings is by checking your calendar right when you sit down at your desk each day and mapping out what you need to get done, along with the meetings you have scheduled for the day. This way, you know exactly what's on your plate and when you have free work time. 

2. Engage with each person on the call 

  • Make an effort to converse with each team member who joins a virtual meeting. Say hello, good morning or afternoon and chat briefly before everyone else gets on. Doing this eases any awkward tension that can often exist in virtual meeting settings (it's inevitable sometimes!) and starts the call off on the right foot.

3. Maintain focus throughout the meeting 

  • If everyone stayed focused and on task in every meeting, you'd be amazed at how productive these meetings can be. The more people involved, the more complicated it becomes to stay focused on the task at hand. Agendas are really helpful with keeping everyone focused and avoiding going too far off topic. 

YTEL TIP:
Require everyone to turn their video camera on during meetings. It's much easier to work on other tasks when you're muted and the camera is off, but when it's on and coworkers can see each other, they're more likely to stay on task. 

EMPLOYEE BEST PRACTICES

1. Avoid multitasking on calls 

  • Do your best to stay focused on conference calls or virtual meetings. Remove distractions by turning your camera on and staying as engaged as possible throughout the conversation, ask questions, offer comments and feedback, offer to lead the meeting, etc.

2. Over-communicate... it's better than the alternative

  • As a virtual employee, you have to figure out a way to work cohesively with each member of your team, as well as various other employees, and the best way to do that is through communication. Take the technology you're provided with, and use it to your advantage! Chat, call, email, video as much as you can and build rapport with your coworkers early on so your relationship is established and you are comfortable working together.

3. Ask for what you need 

  • Make your needs known (whether it's weekly meetings, different technology, support, etc) so you can be successful in your role. This is totally up to you as a remote employee; no one really knows what your workstation looks like or if you're optimizing your levels of productivity... this is on you! Give it a few weeks and reflect on where you are and where you'd like to be, talk with your manager about your goals and make the necessary adjustments.
     

EMPLOYER BEST PRACTICES

1. Build rapport with each remote employee on your team 

  • The importance of harmony between employee and manager should not be lost on anyone. It's more difficult to build this relationship when you're in different locations, but it can certainly be done. Take the time to get to know each remote employee, their home life, their interests and hobbies, while also gauging their work ethic, their personal and professional goals. 

2. Prioritize one on one meetings

3. Don't leave anyone out 

  •  87% of remote workers feel more connected to their team and coworkers thanks to video conferencing. Be sure to include team members as much as possible throughout the workday if time and resources permit, so they're involved with the department conversations and decisions being made. The biggest obstacle employees face with working remote is feeling detached from the company that employs them; alleviating this feeling will increase their loyalty towards you and your company.  

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About The Author

Taylor Sturtz, Ytel

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As a UI/UX developer and gif all-star at Ytel, Taylor works to craft intuitive user experiences in various marketing and software projects. He has a B.A. in Art History, over five years of design experience, and enjoys keeping up with new design paradigms and development trends.


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