Creating a Virtual Workplace

Posted on February 22, 2007

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BusinessWeek Online’s CEO Technology Guide has an interesting and helpful "tip sheet" on Virtual Workplace Dos and Don’ts.  Some of the tips:

DO:

  1. Get good gear.  Invest in the right equipment to keep workers productive at home and on the road.
  2. Encourage small talk among employees.  Set up online discussion forums and schedule outings.
  3. Help them stop.  Since it is harder for "virtual workers" to distinguish between "work" and "home", encourage them to have personal lives.
  4. Create space.  Set up temporary offices for telecommuters to use when they come into the office.
  5. Set goals.  Management by objective is crucial with a distributed workforce.

DON’T:

  1. Neglect training.  Train executives on how to manage and communicate with virtual workers.
  2. Assume it’s a fit.  Some workers need a busy office environment to be productive.  Most new employees should become acquainted with their jobs and the corporate culture before working from home.
  3. Lose track.  Even employees who work out of the office should notify managers and co-workers of their whereabouts.  Use of calendar-sharing software and status icons in instant-messaging software can help teams keep track of each member’s schedule and availability.
  4. Forget face time.  Certain activities such as brainstorming work best when team members are together in one room.

N. DeWayne Pope, DeWayne Pope LLC

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