More and more businesses are embracing virtualization. We certainly don’t see this trend decreasing, indeed it will likely continue to grow in popularity thanks to the advent of truly dynamic technologies (not to mention impact of COVID-19).
Yes – it can! However, it requires effective HR leadership. While working virtually offers benefits that contribute to strong engagement (like flexible hours and fixed check-ins), it is still vital for HR professionals to set the precedents in policy that support positive virtual practices and the overall maintenance of a remote team.
HR leaders can also add value by adapting the operating plan to embrace the concept of a virtual team such that it enables the organization to be more flexible and agile and to reduce operating costs.
In addition to strong leadership, virtual teams require effective communication strategies.
These differ from those traditionally found in an HR operating plan. Technology must be embraced, as should the opportunities to communicate differently that these platforms present. The use of online tools like wikis, social networking pages, blogs, and online productivity, and project management tools are essential for virtual teams.
The goal is not to replicate in-person communication but to leverage the technological tools to foster the required communication and information sharing behaviours for people to work together regardless of location. Leveraging these tools can increase knowledge transfer, productivity, and flexibility and allow employees and employers to reap the benefits of virtual workplaces.